In August 1798, the 6th Lord Byron, George Gordon, arrived in a coach from Aberdeen with his mother and nanny to take up possession of his dilapidated ancestral home, Newstead Abbey, in the county of Nottinghamshire. While Newstead remains the best-known of the places associated with the poet in the county, there are many others all over Notts which played key roles in his early life.

Byron's Nottinghamshire

Colwick Hall
Inherited by Byron's ancestor Sir Richard Byron in 1362. The Byrons inhabited Colwick for more than 150 years before they moved to Newstead Abbey. Colwick was then bought by the Musters family. In 1805 Mary Chaworth, Byron's childhood love-interest from Annesley Hall, married Jack Musters of Colwick, creating the name Chaworth-Musters by which the family is still known today. In 1831, during the Second Reform Bill riots, Colwick Hall was sacked by an excited mob. Mary Chaworth Musters spent the night shivering in pouring rain with her daughter Sophia, crouched beneath the shrubbery, while the Hall was looted and partially set on fire. She died a few months later from the shock.

St. James St., Nottingham
Soon after moving to Notts, Byron and his mother took up residence at number 76 St James Street. While she spent much time overseeing renovations at Newstead, Byron stayed in Nottingham where he was having treatment for his malformed foot with a truss-maker at the local hospital. A small plaque outside the house now commemorates their stay here between 1798 and 1799.

 

Pelham Street, Nottingham
As soon as Byron and his mother realized that Newstead Abbey was too cold to live in in winter, they came here in 1798, to take up residence with the late 5th Lord Byron's widow, the Hon. Frances Byron. It was named Griddlesmith Gate in Byron's time.

Annesley Hall
The scene of the fatal duel between Byron's great-uncle and Lord Chaworth, and home to Byron's beloved distant elder cousin, the heiress Mary Chaworth. Byron stayed at Annesley a great deal during the summer of 1803. In the vast acres surrounding the Hall, he used to stroll with his great, but unrequited, early love, who was already enamoured of another... Jack Musters of nearby Colwick Hall. The Hall has stood empty since the 1970's and was devastated by fire on Sept. 4th 1997. It remains in a dilapidated state.

Newark
Byron stayed at the Clinton Arms Hotel in Newark market-place in August 1806, when his first book of poems was published by a neighbouring printer, John Ridge. Entitled Fugitive Pieces, and written when he was about 16, the collection caused such a controversy because of its 'indelicate nature', that Byron rounded up and destroyed every copy he could find- four copies survived. Most of the poems were later published in Hours of Idleness in 1807, and although criticised by some reviewers, this collection helped to launch his career as a poet. The Newark Museum exhibits the original press which Ridge used for printing the collections of poetry, and the printer's house survives as a delicatessen.

Burgage Manor, Southwell
In 1802 Byron came to live here with his mother, but he disliked the provincial village intensely, describing it as the resort of "old parsons and old Maids", and promptly de-camped to Newstead.

 

 

 

Melbourne Hall
The home of Lady Caroline Lamb.

 

 

 

Felley Priory
Of marginal interest only to the Byron story, but included here for its beauty alone. Felley Priory was established in the 12th C., but most of the central part of this fine house dates back to the 16th/17th C. It came into the possession of the Chaworth-Musters family in 1822 and remains so today.