Cirencester Abbey, (also known as Abbey House, Cirencester), Cirencester, England
Record Id: 6908
Site is open to the public. Opening may be limited, please check Visitor Information for any restrictions.
Brief description of site
The site was the town seat of the Masters family, situated next to the parish church of the site of the former abbey. A semicircular terrace is the only remnant of the later house, the site of which is now occupied by flats. The grounds are now a public open space extending down to the River Churn and retaining the general form of the late-17th-century landscaping.
Brief history of site
The house was built on the site of the cloisters of the formal Abbey and the gardens and orchard incorporated the former Abbey grounds up to the fishponds in the River. This was a formal axial-structured garden with many formal vegetable growing areas and orchards in the 17th century. The house was rebuilt and the garden and park landscaped by William Donn, a pupil of Brown, around 1774. Further extension was undertaken by Wyatt in the 19th century. The house was demolished in 1968.
Address: Gosditch, Cirencester, GL7 2QU
Gloucestershire; Cotswold; Cirencester
Historical County: Gloucestershire
|OS Landranger Map Sheet Number:||163||Grid Ref:||SP024022|
In public park west of St.John's Church
Opening contact details:
The site is now in a public park.
Form of site: landscape park
Purpose of site: public park
Context or principal building: parks, gardens and urban spaces
Site first created: 1600 to 1650
Main period of development: Early 17th century
The details of the history of the house are known. It is not known when the garden illustrated in the Kip engraving was created, but it was probably formed in the second half of the 17th century. Plans in the Gloucestershire County Record Office show that it was progressively altered until the final landscaping in the 1770s. The general scheme survives in the existing public space including the former fishponds on the River Churn.
The Kip engraving shows a formal walled garden extending north from Gosditch; parts of this wall survive. The garden shown in the engraving is large and relatively narrow. There is a central decorative formal core, mainly on the central axis of the house, and a small formal extension to the south. Shown to the north are service and farm buildings and to the south extensive vegetable gardens are depicted. Illustrated beyond the formal garden are orchards and the park, which extends down to the river.
Organisations associated with this site
Sources of information
Mowl, T Historic Gardens of Gloucestershire (Stroud: Tempus, 2002)
Atkyns, R and others The Ancient and Present State of Gloucestershire (London: W. Bowyer for Robert Gosling, 1712)
Verey, D The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire 1: The Cotswolds (London: Penguin, 1970) p 259
Kingsley, N The Country Houses of Gloucestershire, Vol. I 1500-1660 (Cheltenham: Phillimore, 1989)
Contributor or Recorder Martin McNicol