Old Church Farm (also known as Alveston Manor)2488

Alveston, England

Brief Description

Old Church Farm is a modern garden on the site of earlier extensive formal gardens. The main areas are within the old boundaries. They were depicted by Kip in 1712 when the property was the local manor-Alveston Manor. By 1756, the manor house was reduced in size and became a farm house. The garden was reduced in size and the park lost. The house and the central areas of the garden survive. This record was checked with South Gloucestershire Historic Environment Records Officer - June 2010.


The site was believed to be a hunting lodge in a royal forest in the 13th century. The forest came out of royal ownership in 1496 and the manor was thereafter in private hands.

Detailed Description

This is a modern garden on the site of extensive formal gardens depicted by Kip. In 1712 the property was called Alveston Manor.

There are formal rose beds in lawns around a central stone urn, as well as soft fruit and espaliers. With mature yews and Scots pines the garden is contiguous with the ruined Church of St Helen.

The late-16th-century house is listed Grade II, as is the church. The 14th-century tower and the 12th-century wall are Scheduled Ancient Monuments.



  • Formal
  • House (featured building)
  • Description: Alveston Manor
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  • Urn
  • Description: Central stone urn, around which are lawns and rose beds.
  • House (featured building)
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  • Tower
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  • Wall
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Rose Border

Civil Parish

  • Alveston

Detailed History

Between 1580 and 1703 the manor was a seat of the Veal family. At the time of the Atkyns illustration it was owned by the Hill Family and Kingsley suggests it was at the peak of its development. Subsequently it was downgraded and became a farm house. A plan in Gloucestershire County Record Office (GCRO pc 1353) shows that the park had become farmland, but the formal gardens to the east and south of the house remained. At a later date the east wing of the house was demolished and the area incorporated into the garden.

The old Church of St. Helen, which is unusually close to the house, was abandoned when a new church was built in the village. The roofless ruin remains next to the house. In the 1920s the house was no longer required by the farm and was purchased by a solicitor, who made substantial improvements to the house and garden. In 1960 it was purchased by Bristol Siddeley Engines, now part of Rolls Royce, and is used as an executive hospitality centre. The house, gardens and grounds are not open to the public, and the church, which is a dangerous ruin, is also closed.

The walled areas to the east and south of the house are now decorative gardens and there is a vegetable garden in the south-east corner. The illustrations show the walled garden area to the east, with the slightly elevated area being on the site of the old east wing of the house (church tower in background), the south garden, now with roses, one illustration looking out from the house and the other looking towards the house, the Kip illustration from the Atkyns History, and the plan of 1756.


  • 18th Century


01793 445050

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    • Avon Gardens Trust