Cirencester Abbey (also known as Abbey House, Cirencester)6908

Cirencester, England, Gloucestershire, Cotswold

Brief Description

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.


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.

Visitor Facilities

The site is now in a public park.

Detailed 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.

Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

The site is now in a public park.


In public park west of St.John's Church

Civil Parish

  • Cirencester

Detailed 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.




  • Martin McNicol