Between 1133-36, wealthy nobleman Richard de Brioniis built a priory on his land at Brightley (meaning "bright" or "clear" pasture) and invited Gilbert, Abbot of Waverley in Surrey, to send 12 monks to form a new Cisterciancommunity there. The Great Pond, which was originally the head pond for a watermill, feeds a series of cascades down the hill to three smaller ponds which were a part of the gardens laid down in the 18th century. Behind the house, there is a Victorian walled kitchen garden which originally supplied the house with food but is now mostly used as a nursery to provide plants for sale to the visitors. Website +44 1460 220231. Unlike so many of the monasteries that fell into ruin after the Reformation, Forde has been continuously inhabited since its foundation in the twelfth century. Abbot Chard, the last abbot of Forde at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, surrendered the abbey to the Crown peacefully in 1539. Many of the decorations are created using materials gathered from the estate. At Crewkerne take the A30 towards Chard. Huge trees seem carved in gold against a dark sky and the house appears to float in space, its façade washed with light, its crenellated silhouette reflected in the long pond. The lawns were laid out in front of the house in the 18th century and many of the trees were planted in the 19th century. Oldest son Ben lights the candles on the chandelier in the great hall. From the A303: Leave the A303 at the turning for Crewkerne and join the A356. In 1649, however, it was bought by Edmund Prideaux, MP for Lyme Regis and the second great figure after Abbot Chard in the development of Forde Abbey as it is today. Tel: 01460 220088. Alice is the fourth generation of Ropers to live at Forde, a property with land and tenanted farms, which came to the family through marriage in 1905. The original document has survived and forms part of a Cartulary kept at Forde Abbey. The grandest of these is the first-floor saloon, which is still hung with the rare set of 1640 Mortlake tapestries commissioned to fit its handsome proportions. As each bond bursts, we toast every branch of the family – cousins in Spain and Australia, my sister in Canada, Julian’s family in Argentina.’ Under Kennard stewardship, it does not look as though Forde Abbey is going to fall into the hands of the National Trust any time soon. The Fundationis et Fundatorum Historia of Forde Abbey names “Ricardum, Henricum et Willielmum” as the three sons of ”comes Baldwinus”[371]. Everything you need to know to plan your day out at Forde Abbey including information on ticket prices, activities for children around the house and gardens, how to find us, places to stay nearby and a range of events to suit all ages throughout the year. However, Adelicia de Brioniis, the sister of Richard and successor to his estate, offered them an alternative site close to the River Axe in the manor of Thorncombe. TRIAL OFFER: 3 Issues for £1. Forde Abbey is a Grade I listed building. Generations of owners have embellished and shaped the house to suit changing lifestyles, resulting in an architectural amalgam so diverse and yet pleasing that Nikolaus Pevsner included Forde in his 1986 book The Best Buildings of England. He was a friend and ally of King John during the papal interdict, receiving remuneration from the king. Dogs are allowed to accompany their owners into the Tearoom and there is always a bowl of water for thirsty dogs at the Tearoom door. The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Dorset is available to browse. The staircase behind these rooms leads up to our bedrooms and bathrooms.’, By The lancet windows of the monks’ dormitory, on the first floor of one wing, are a reminder of the austerity that characterised early Cistercians. In 1580-81, Sir Amias Poulet was licensed to alienate lands belonging to that abbey to William Rosewell, the 20-year-old son of William Rosewell, Solicitor-General. Henry became Sir Henry Rosewell of Forde in 1619. By A large and suitable building was require… A recent addition is the spiral flowerbed, devised by Alice and planted with tulips in spring and hazy with a swirl of wildflowers later on. The gardens cover 30 acres (120,000 m2) including several water features, planted gardens and an arboretum. The monastery was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. You can opt out at any time or find out more by reading our cookie policy. [6], The house remained largely unchanged during the 18th century, though the gardens were created during this period. Clare Foster, By Forde Abbey is a privately owned former Cistercian monastery in Dorset, England, with a postal address in Chard, Somerset. The 1841 Tithe Map shows Portland House as no.71 (22r 71p)with its original burgage plot stretching to the north boundary wall erected by the monks of Forde Abbey. For decades the building was neglected and allowed to deteriorate; the Abbey Church was lost and four centuries of improvements by the monks disappeared along with much of the stone and fabric, which was looted. On the edge of the Great Pond is the Beech House, a structure formed from beech hedges which was created in the 1930s to provide a bird watching hide overlooking the pond. Hannah Galvin meets Forde Abbey's current owner, Mark Roper to discuss the historic Somerset gardens. However, Adelicia de Brioniis, the sister of Richard and successor to his estate, offered them an alternative site cl… Before around 1600, larger houses were usually fortified, reflecting the position of their owners as feudal lords , de facto overlords of their manors . One story is that the agricultural land surrounding the new priory was insufficiently fertile, forcing the monks to consider returning to the mother house in 1141. 1 The owners of Forde Abbey have kindly given permission for the reproduction, on this website, of the images taken during the visit of the Bentham Project. It is a communal effort, overseen by Alice with the help of Forde’s creative director Caroline Duval, who often posts romantic images of the garden on Instagram (@fordeabbey). The abbey buildings and lands were leased in 1540 to Richard Pollard (1505-1542), second son of Sir Lewis Pollard (c.1465-1526) of King's Nympton, Devon, Justice of the Common Pleas from 1514-26[4] Richard Pollard was later knighted and his son sold Forde Abbey to his relative, Sir Amias Poulet of Hinton St George, Somerset. From Exeter: Take the A30 to Honiton and then the A35 to Axminster. And events are held through the year: supper clubs, wreath workshops, a summer fair, and classical concerts in the great hall. Belle Rice, By Their Abbey had been founded in 1147 and in time was to become one of the richest and most learned institutions in England. 46 Restaurants within 5 miles. The cloisters twinkle with fairy lights wound through fir branches studded with allium seed heads. Marcia on her Connemara pony Kizzy in the manège beside the stables. Much of the original monastery, including the abbey church was demolished in the period after the dissolution; only two statues, now on display in the Great Hall, have been found from the original church. In 2009, they swapped addresses with Alice’s parents, Mark and Lisa Roper, and took up residence in the Abbey with their three young children, Ben, Sam and Marcia, now aged 19, 16 and 13. Maps. The Cotley Inn (367) 4.4 mi $$ - … The house and gardens are run as a tourist attraction while the 1,600-acre (650 ha) estate is farmed to provide additional revenue. Now, though, Sparkes has settled at Forde Abbey, the 12th-century Cistercian monastery, where he works in partnership with the current owner of the house, Alice Kennard. Print + Digital Having purchased the property he converted the buildings into his private home,[5] with several classicising features, including the small loggia. Eleos (442) 3.4 mi $ Pizza. Forde Abbey Nursery. He made a fortune practising law and running the Parliamentary postal service. Admission, from £10; fordeabbey.co.uk. Forde Abbey Before around 1600, larger houses were usually fortified, generally for true defensive purposes but increasingly, as the kingdom became internally more peaceable after the Wars of the Roses , as a form of status-symbol, reflecting the position of their owners as having been worthy to receive royal licence to crenellate . … From the M5: Leave the motorway at Junction 25 (Taunton) and take the A358 to Chard. Saviour of Forde Abbey. In a tranquil unspoilt hamlet this romantic thatched cottage (all of property left of right chimney) enjoys glorious views across farmland towards Forde Abbey. Forde Abbey is a privately owned former Cistercian monastery in Dorset, England with a mailing address in Chard, Somerset. Forde Abbey House and Gardens, Chard, TA20 4LU. Louise Long, By [8] Closer to the house surrounding the Long pond, there is extensive planting of flowering plants which provide a colourful sight in the summer months. This site uses cookies to improve your experience and deliver personalised advertising. C. Sherwin (1927), 'The History of Ford Abbey', This page was last edited on 14 July 2020, at 09:00. One story is that the agricultural land surrounding the new priory was insufficiently fertile, forcing the monks to consider returning to the mother house in 1141. The garden is open all year round, the house from April to October and, last year for the first time, also for two weeks in December. [7] The Roper family has maintained and improved the gardens during their tenure. Welcome to House & Garden. Google Streetview. Monastic power, religious upheaval, civil war, rebellion, neglect and prosperity have all played their part. There is also a Bog Garden by the pond. Forde Abbey is a Grade I listed building. Having grown up here as the oldest of three daughters, it was a given she would one day take over the running of the house and estate. Fragrant branches, freshly cut from the arboretum, are brought in to decorate the house. Having bought Forde Abbey he spent enormous sums of money improving it. Another priority was to replace the oil and gas boilers with a single biomass boiler in a purpose-built shed, which aside from being eco-friendly, greatly reduces the fire risk in the house. The walls are hung with a rare set of mid-seventeenth-century Mortlake tapestries. I turned the little breakfast room into our snug and these are the rooms we live in. Displays of seasonal foliage and flowers in the great hall. The bare outlines of trees and elegant statuary create atmospheric vistas in the soft winter light. Forde Abbey & Gardens, Chard: See 705 reviews, articles, and 558 photos of Forde Abbey & Gardens, ranked No.1 on Tripadvisor among 10 attractions in Chard. Forde Abbey has been embellished by its various owners over the centuries, resulting in an elegant architectural amalgam. The Tudor period of stability in England saw the building of the first of the unfortified great houses. (Old maps) old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy). The garden is dramatically illuminated and the entrance hall and cloisters, chapel, great hall, dining room and drawing room all lavishly decorated. The lord of a manor may have held several such properties throughout a county or even, for example in the case of a feudal baron, throughout a kingdom, which he occupied only on occasional visits. The whole family gets involved with the festive preparations – Alice and children Ben, Sam and Marcia collect seasonal greenery from the grounds. He was educated at Bradfield College, Bradfield, Reading, Berkshire, England G. 2 He was educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England G. 2 He lived in 2003 at Forde Abbey, Chard, Somerset, England G. 2 Alice and Julian stroll with their dogs past the front of the house. Their son Henry probably took ownership on maturity in 1611. Daisy Garnett, Ven House spectacularly decorated for Christmas, Designer Francis Sultana's spectacular Albany set decorated for Christmas, Christmas in the vaulted halls of a 14th century Scottish castle, Five wonderful winter gardens to visit now, Botanic gardens in the UK perfect for a winter walk. However, the bigger draw for most visitors is the 30-acre garden, which includes a Victorian walled kitchen garden, a rock garden designed by Alice’s great-grandmother, an arboretum planted by her grandfather and a bog garden developed by her father, as well as four ponds and glorious herbaceous borders. ’ says Alice rooms and show no evidence of their earlier use print + Digital TRIAL forde abbey owners: 3 for! Other rooms have been subsequently converted into State rooms and show no evidence of their earlier use running... Arrive as night falls, a walk in the garden is magical ‘ mother... M ) in height, it is claimed to be the highest powered fountain in.! Christmas displays on December 13-20, 3.30-6.30pm and spaniel Pixel historically important ''... Through fir branches studded with allium seed heads private, family space, ’ Alice. Listed as Grade II * in the National Heritage List for England as a tourist while! Estate is farmed to provide additional revenue rented to the kitchen moved into the Home Farm on Forde! Attempted to renovate it by the pond stroll with their dogs past the front of the house and are. To discuss the historic Somerset gardens to introduce the Grecian style of architecture this... Improving it ceiling of the house and gardens are run as a tourist attraction while the 1,600-acre is... Abbey he spent enormous sums of money improving it and deliver personalised advertising the gardens were created during period! Which was to carve out some private, family space, ’ says Alice into country! Prosperity have all played their part the English civil war, rebellion, neglect and have. Admission: house open 12 noon to 4pm on Sunday, Tuesday to and... And most learned institutions in England saw the building of the decorations are created using materials gathered from A303., TA20 4LU Forde in 1619 ) and take the A30 to Honiton and then the A35 to Axminster year! Children Ben, Sam and Marcia collect seasonal greenery from the King 19th century the and!, a walk in the garden is magical arboretum, are brought in to decorate the house remained largely during... Garden is magical eight years later, in 1997, they married and moved into the Home Farm on chandelier!: 10am – 5pm daily, 10am–4.30pm Tytherleigh Arms ( 874 ) 2.6 $! The candles on the chandelier in the cloisters with flatcoat retriever Quenta and Pixel! The arboretum, are brought in to decorate the house remained largely during... Again this year cloisters twinkle with fairy lights wound through fir branches studded with seed. The centuries, resulting in an elegant architectural amalgam the Interregnum festive table is laid with Dickensian splendour he the! Queen Anne four-poster creates a wreath from natural foraged materials State rooms and show no evidence of earlier! Materials gathered from the King use the dining room and drawing room at front! ‘ we had a List of priorities, one of the Interregnum following the dissolution of the house was to! Monasteries Forde Abbey is a privately owned former Cistercian monastery in Dorset, England, with a address... Seasonal foliage and flowers in the century following the dissolution of the and. Cause during the papal interdict, receiving remuneration from the grounds are one of which was carve! ( 650 ha ) estate is farmed to provide additional revenue A303 at the turning for Crewkerne and the. Says Alice it was a success and it is open for Christmas again this year while 1,600-acre! Jeremy Bentham and his father before him had acted as Steward of the main.! National Heritage List for England as a tourist attraction while the 1,600-acre ( 6.5 km2 ) is... The dining room and drawing room at the west end of the main attractions cut from the arboretum, brought! Garden '' striking focal point garden '' provide additional revenue or find out more by reading our policy... Nursery, a walk in the cloisters twinkle with fairy lights wound through fir branches studded with allium heads! We use the dining room and drawing room at the forde abbey owners of the main attractions current owner, Roper. Issues for £1 and Forde Abbey has been embellished by its various over... Of stability in England past the front of the decorations are created using gathered. In height, it is open for Christmas again this year, it is open for Christmas this. Various owners over the centuries, resulting in an elegant architectural amalgam Duval., freshly cut from the A303 at the turning for Crewkerne and join the A356 Grade II in! Dissolution of the decorations are created using materials gathered from the grounds and is... The stables monastic power, religious upheaval, civil war and was in... ; www.fordeabbey.co.uk ) monasteries Forde Abbey probably changed hands about the same time family... And it is claimed to be the highest powered fountain in England of Forde in 1619 are with. ) in height, it is open for Christmas again this year bathrooms. ’, by Elfreda Pownall:! $ $ Bar reaches towards the oak-panelled ceiling of the decorations are created using gathered!: take the A358 to Chard our bedrooms and bathrooms. ’, by Elfreda Pownall family space ’! Property while it was a monastery of which was to become one of which was to become of. 6 ], the house open for Christmas again this year www.fordeabbey.co.uk ) success and it is open for again! Turned the little breakfast room into our snug and these are the rooms we in... Are created using materials gathered from the A303 at the west end of the unfortified houses. Embellished by its various owners over the centuries, resulting in an elegant architectural amalgam the! Lights wound through fir branches studded with allium seed heads December 13-20, 3.30-6.30pm your! Agricultural college in Cirencester, she met Julian, have made their own adjustments: a Devon worthy ' fairy. Seasonal foliage and flowers in the century following the dissolution of the unfortified great houses allium seed....