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Description: Forde Abbey
Date Listed: 4 December 1951
English Heritage Building ID: 104652
OS Grid Reference: ST3592405177
OS Grid Coordinates: 335924, 105177
Latitude/Longitude: 50.8426, -2.9114
This building is also a scheduled monument.
Explore more of the area around Thorncombe, Dorset at Explore Britain.
ST 30 NE THORNCOMBE PARK LANE
2/121 Forde Abbey
Country House, formerly Cistercian Abbey, founded 1136. Dissolved 1539.
Monastic building of 12thC, 13thC, l5thC and 16thC survives. Country house
alterations and extensions of C17, C18 and modern period. Rubble walls with Ham
stone ashlar and dressings. Slate and lead roofs. Surviving work: mid C12:
Chapter House (now chapel): 2 bays of cross-rib vaulting carried on recessed
responds with scalloped capitals. Upper part rebuilt in C16 altered late C17.
East window early C16. C13 Dorter large: 13 bays of ribbed vaults dying into
polygonal central columns. Frater: lower part of walls. C15: Kitchen
fireplace Gateway at West end of building. C16 porch into Abbot's Hall. Walls
of part of Abbot's Lodging. C17: Dining room to right of porch: Main
staircase. West staircase hall. Walls of West dining room. C18. Minor
jamb features. Front (South) elevation from left to right. Drawing Room of
Abbot's Lodging - 3 storeys, 3 bays with embattled parapet, C16, altered
and rebuilt C17. Windows with moulded architraves and cornices, central upper
one round headed. West dining room similar but only 2 storeys. Abbot's Hall
early C16 - 1 storey 4 bays. Window design of stone mullions cross-transomed.
Very depressed arches with carved panels, 3 to a bay over. Buttresses with
3 set-offs. Porch, dated 1528, of 3 storeys. 3-centred arch-entrance with
2 storey orial window above. Three heraldic panels below each tier. Dining
Room with projecting verandah. 2½ storeys. Three bays wide. Ground floor;
arches, square-headed window above, and ovals above that. North alley of cloister:
7 bays of transomed 4-light windows with Y-tracery. Notable- frieze, C16.
First floor with C17 windows and embattled parapet. Chapter House of 2 storeys
with C18 windows at first floor level. Outstanding exterior features: Low
relief early renaissance sculpture to Abbot's Hall and Porch. Interior
features: plaster ceilings of 1660 to the Prideaux rooms: combining wide
bands, flowing Acanthus foliage and figure-work in central medallions. C17
screen in the chapel. West staircase of c1660 with turned balusters and
square newels with panels of fruit and foliage. Great staircase. Mid C17
enriched strings and hand-rails, panelled newels with bay-leaves and vases
of fruit and flowers. Very fine pierced panels of acanthus scrolls with
cartouches. This pattern repeated on the wall-surface. Stair-hall plaster
ceiling. Source: R.C.H.M. Dorset I, p.240ff(3).
Listing NGR: ST3592405175
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.