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Coombe Abbey Hotel has a rich and fascinating history. It has housed royals, been part of the Gunpowder Plot and was even surrendered to King Henry VIII as part of the dissolution of the monasteries. Discover more about the history of Coombe Abbey Hotel.
During the 12th century, the hotel was known as the Abbey of Cumbe, and was the largest and most influential monastery in Warwickshire. The Abbey remained in the hands of the monks up until the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539. From then, the land was appropriated by King Henry VIII. Throughout the years, ownership of the Abbey became very fickle. In 1581, John Harrington bought the Abbey, and incorporated much of the original structure to his home. In this year, Princess Elizabeth, daughter of James I, came to the Abbey to live and be educated amongst the picturesque Warwickshire countryside.
The Craven family acquired Coombe Abbey in 1622 and it remained with them for an impressive 300 years. During the Craven ownership, the Abbey was extensively developed, with various buildings added, such as the West Wing in 1677. During the Craven family reign, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown was asked to redesign the surrounding gardens and land. William Eden Nesfield was asked to make alterations to the house, making sure he incorporated a Gothic Revival style. With this brief, the East Wing and parts of the North Wing were demolished and rebuilt.
Following the tragic death of Lord Craven in 1921, the Countess made the difficult decision to sell the estate. In 1923, the house and its grounds were bought by a builder named John Gray. Coventry City Council took ownership of the Abbey in 1964, along with its extensive estate of 150-acres and after a series of vital restoration, in 1966 the breathtaking Regional Park was opened to the public with the hotel opening in 1995.