The Abbey passed from the Pope family to the North family in 1672 when Lady Frances Pope married Francis North. Francis North was a gifted lawyer. He rose to become Lord Chancellor and the first Baron Guilford. Francis North’s brother, Roger (pictured at the top of the page), an accomplished architect extended the Abbey, by adding a dining room and a garden parlour. The dining room is now the Reading Room and the garden parlour is now the North Library. Roger North also built the Carriage House. The Carriage House housed coaches, horses and later provided a brewhouse and laundry.

Francis’ son, also Francis, inherited the Barony of Guilford and passed it on in turn to his son, yet another Francis in 1727. This Francis improved the family status by inheriting the Barony of North from an extinguished branch of the Norths and raised its prestige further by his place in the affections of Frederick, Prince of Wales. He was raised to the Earldom of Guilford in 1752.

Further alterations were made to the Abbey in 1740 when a library and chapel were added to the house. This library, also known as the Red Drawing Room is now the Pope Library. The addition of the chapel was overseen by the well-known architect and landscape designer, Sanderson Miller.


Francis North, 1st Baron Guilford; Lord Chancellor and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal
Lady Lucy Montagu, wife of Francis North, 1st Earl of Guilford, and mother of Prime Minister Lord North