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A University Centre Shrewsbury academic will be asking if the newspaper headline ‘bling, booze and groupie sex’ is an accurate description of Lord Byron’s life at the poet’s ancestral home.

Dr James Pardoe will be discussing Newstead Abbey, through the eyes of the Romantic poet, George Gordon Noel, sixth Baron Byron, and his contemporaries, compared with how the house is interpreted today.

People are invited to hear the talk at Rowley’s House in Shrewsbury town centre on Wednesday June 8.

Dr Pardoe will present the lecture from 1pm to 2.15pm, in the last in the series of Rowley’s Lunchtime Lectures on stately homes taking place this spring.

Dr Pardoe said: “Lord Byron has been described in many ways - a poet, rebel, champion of liberty, ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’ and the original ‘rock and roll’ celebrity. Newstead Abbey, a grand estate in Nottingham was the setting, more than 200 years ago, of this life of ‘bling, booze and groupie sex’, as described by The Sun.

“We’ll be discussing what happened within its walls, if Byron’s time at Newstead is reflected accurately in these terms, and how the estate is viewed in the present day.”

Dr Pardoe is Director of Design, Heritage and the Built Environment at University Centre Shrewsbury and the Association for Heritage Interpretation’s Discover Heritage Awards judge for England.

He has curated a variety of exhibitions, including working for: the National Trust; English Heritage; Shropshire Regimental Museums; Chester City Museums; the Abbotsford Museum Trust and Nottinghamshire Museums at Newstead Abbey.

To book places for the lecture email or call 01743 297185.

Alternatively, people can visit the information point at Guildhall at Frankwell Quay (SY3 8HQ) which is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am to 4pm on Fridays or Rowley’s House at Barker Street (SY1 1QH) on Wednesdays between 11am and 2pm.

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