Annual Lecture


The Friends of Audley End Annual Lecture – Friday 29th March 2019


Richard Griffin, second Baron Braybrooke, and his Grand Tour: cultural exploration, language learning and a family reunited

We learn relatively little about Richard Griffin (formerly Richard Aldworth Neville, 1750-1825), second Baron Braybrooke, when we visit or read about Audley End House. He seems to have spent limited time at the house and left it largely unchanged on his death. Recent work in the library by researchers from Cambridge University has thrown fascinating new light on this family member, including a European tour that was initiated in the wake of a bereavement and left a lasting personal and cultural legacy at Audley End. Richard’s experiences abroad have much to tell us about the importance of multiculturalism and multilingualism in eighteenth-century England.

The lecture will be presented by Dr Abigail Brundin & Dr Dunstan Roberts. Abigail Brundin is a specialist in Italian and continental literature and culture, and Dunstan Roberts specialises in English literature and the history of libraries, both at the University of Cambridge. They are currently working on a project funded by the University of Cambridge to explore the early holdings in the library at Audley End House.


Venue - the Friends Meeting House, High Street, Saffron Walden CB10 1AA

Lecture will commence at 7.45pm

Tickets will be available from the Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre in Market Place, Saffron Walden or on the door

Tickets £6 available now


The Annual Lecture held in April 2018


Friday 9th March 2018, at the Friends Meeting House.


William Tomkins and the Landscape of Audley End, a lecture to be given by Dr Peter Moore, Curator of Collections, English Heritage London and East

This lecture re-examines the remarkable series of paintings by William Tomkins at Audley End, which record in detail the landscape surrounding the house in the late eighteenth-century. Their role within the rich visual history of the estate will be interrogated, and an expanded sense of their position within the broader narrative of British art history will also be provided.


Peter Moore is Curator of Collections, English Heritage and his remit includes being Curator of Collections at Audley End. He formerly worked as Curator at Gainsborough’s House; Assistant Curator of Pictures and Sculpture across the whole of the National Trust Collections; Researcher at the National Gallery. He completed an Art History PhD at the University of York, in partnership with Tate Britain, in 2013. He has published widely on 17th and 18th century visual arts.



The Annual Lecture held in April 2017


Professor Marilyn Palmer, MBE, PhD, FSA gave a talk about The Braybrookes at Audley End: pioneers of technological innovation


The first and third Barons Braybrooke at Audley End pioneered methods of comfort and convenience at Audley End considerably in advance of many other stately homes, introducing flushing toilets, pumped water and a very early bell system as well as the innovative Coal Gallery.


This talk, by Professor Marilyn Palmer, one of the authors of the book recently published by Historic England, Technology in the Country House, will explain and illustrate these developments. Marilyn Palmer is Emeritus Professor of Industrial Archaeology, University of Leicester.


Further information is available on the English Heritage website, Stories of England, in which Professor Marilyn Palmer & Ian West wrote about the pioneering technologies at Audley End -