I turned the little breakfast room into our snug and these are the rooms we live in. Veteran: Twiglet (pictured here in the grounds of Forde Abbey, Somerset, with owner Alice Kennard's seven-year-old daughter Marcia) could be the oldest Shetland pony in Britain. One room at Ford Abbey was called 'Queen Anne's,' for whom it was fitted up when its owner was secretary at war; and the walls were adorned with tapestry representing a Welsh wedding; the furniture and tapestry were also purchased for preservation with the house. Best nearby. The whole family gets involved with the festive preparations – Alice and children Ben, Sam and Marcia collect seasonal greenery from the grounds. The original document has survived and forms part of a Cartulary kept at Forde Abbey. When we entertain, we use the dining room and drawing room at the front of the house next to the kitchen. Founded in the reign of King Stephen and within one hundred years of the dawn of the Cistercian Order, Forde Abbey near Chard on the Somerset/Dorset border has a long and varied history. From the A303: Leave the A303 at the turning for Crewkerne and join the A356. 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. Forde Abbey was established in the twelfth Century by Cistercian monks and is situated near Chard in Dorset.At the time of the Dissolution in the fifteenth century, a man called Thomas Chard was abbot at the Abbey and it is his ghost that reputedly haunts Forde. [2], John of Ford (c. 1140 – 21 April 1214) was the prior of Forde Abbey, then from 1186 abbot of its daughter house of Bindon, and between 1191 and 1214 the abbot of Forde. He was a friend and ally of King John during the papal interdict, receiving remuneration from the king. And events are held through the year: supper clubs, wreath workshops, a summer fair, and classical concerts in the great hall. 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. The house and gardens are run as a tourist attraction while the 1,600-acre estate is farmed to provide additional revenue. Forde Abbey is a privately owned former Cistercian monastery in Dorset, England with a mailing address in Chard, Somerset. Before around 1600, larger houses were usually fortified, reflecting the position of their owners as feudal lords , de facto overlords of their manors . In 1905, the cousin of the last owner inherited the house and moved in with her husband Freeman Roper, whose descendants still own and occupy the house and estates.[5]. He did not live to see his designs for Forde Abbey completed, for he died in 1654, whilst work on the house was not finished until 1658. Sir Amias and his father before him had acted as Steward of the Abbey and its property while it was a monastery. Other rooms have been subsequently converted into State Rooms and show no evidence of their earlier use. History Forde Abbey is a Grade I listed building. The candlelit festive table is laid with Dickensian splendour. 46 Restaurants within 5 miles. ˜ e Forde Abbey stock was introduced as seed from Peru by owner Mark Roper’s brother, Christopher, a few years ago and has become a signature plant. Forde Abbey is a Grade I listed building. Owner: Paul Bygrave. By Their Abbey had been founded in 1147 and in time was to become one of the richest and most learned institutions in England. 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. 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. Stock is maintained by digging up and potting plants prior to the fi rst frosts, for overwintering under … On the other side of the building, the richly decorated Tudor tower and gothic tracery of cloister windows are a legacy of the vast wealth that made these religious institutions such an irresistible quarry for a cash-strapped king. Welcome to House & Garden. For Alice and Julian Kennard, preparing for Christmas at Forde Abbey is a communal activity, as everyone works together to decorate the 900-year-old house with foliage and flowers from the estate. Forde Abbey, Chard, Somerset, TA20 4LU. Eight years later, in 1997, they married and moved into the Home Farm on the Forde Abbey estate. In 1815, the house was rented to the philosopher Jeremy Bentham. The later owners of Forde Abbey, the Evans family, lent it to the Bethnal Green Museum, opened in 1872 as an outpost of what would become the Victoria and Albert Museum, that was designed to educate and enlighten the working classes of the East End of London. Freshly cut from the A303 at the front of the Interregnum cloisters flatcoat..., who was at that time attempting to introduce the Grecian style of architecture into this country the. Exeter: forde abbey owners the A30 to Honiton and then the A35 to Axminster and gardens are run as a historically! The property of distant owners 30 acres ( 120,000 m2 ) including several water features, gardens... Property of distant owners property while it was a success and it is claimed to be the highest fountain... 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