Summary

Site is open to the public. Opening may be limited, please check Visitor Information for any restrictions.

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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.

Location information:

Address: Gosditch, Cirencester, GL7 2QU

Locality: Cirencester

Local Authorities:

Gloucestershire; Cotswold; Cirencester

Historical County: Gloucestershire

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 163 Grid Ref: SP024022
Latitude: 51.7185 Longitude: -1.96666

Directions:

In public park west of St.John's Church

Visitor facilities

Opening contact details:

The site is now in a public park.

Key information:

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

Survival: Extant

Description

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.

History

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.

References

Organisations associated with this site

Gloucestershire Gardens & Landscape Trust

Sources of information

Historic Gardens of Gloucestershire

Mowl, T Historic Gardens of Gloucestershire (Stroud: Tempus, 2002)

The Ancient and Present State of Gloucestershire

Atkyns, R and others The Ancient and Present State of Gloucestershire (London: W. Bowyer for Robert Gosling, 1712)

The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire 1: The Cotswolds

Verey, D The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire 1: The Cotswolds (London: Penguin, 1970) p 259

The Country Houses of Gloucestershire, Vol. I 1500-1660

Kingsley, N The Country Houses of Gloucestershire, Vol. I 1500-1660 (Cheltenham: Phillimore, 1989)

Contributor or Recorder Martin McNicol

Images

  • Cirencester Abbey, Kip engraving of 1708-1710

    Cirencester Abbey, Kip engraving of 1708-1710

  • Cirencester Abbey, view from tower of church

    Cirencester Abbey, view from tower of church