British Listed Buildings

History in Structure

If you log in, you can comment on buildings, submit new photos or update photos that you've already submitted.

We need to upgrade the server that this website runs on. Can you spare a quid to help?.

Bruern Abbey, Bruern

Description: Bruern Abbey

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 27 August 1957
English Heritage Building ID: 253894

OS Grid Reference: SP2652020392
OS Grid Coordinates: 426520, 220392
Latitude/Longitude: 51.8815, -1.6161

Location: Bruern Crossing, Bruern, Oxfordshire OX7 6QA

Locality: Bruern
Local Authority: West Oxfordshire District Council
County: Oxfordshire
Country: England
Postcode: OX7 6QA

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

Explore more of the area around Bruern, Oxfordshire at Explore Britain.

Listing Text

7/5 Bruern Abbey
(Formerly listed as Bruern
27.8.57 Abbey and Terrace in front)


Country house. Circa 1720, possibly by William Townesend for John Cope on the
site of a Cistercian abbey. Rear of house and much of interior destroyed by fire
in 1780, after which two 3-storey wings running back from the main block and
linking with service ranges around a courtyard were added. This courtyard was
partly infilled in C19 when a staircase hall was built. In 1972-3 the C19
additions were removed and the north front of the main block rebuilt in a style
imitative of the original early C18 south front. Limestone ashlar to early C18
work, regularly coursed limestone rubble to service ranges and C20 rebuilding;
main block has low-pitched hipped slate roof with 2 ridge stacks and integral
end stacks, partly concealed by balustraded parapet with ball finials to
corners. 2 storeys over cellars. 2:3:2 bays, centre section forming pedimented
break with banded pilaster strips and oculus to pediment. 15-paned glazing bar
Sashes in moulded surrounds with keystones and aprons, 2 outer first-floor
windows on either side with aprons above as well as below. Central entrance;
late C18 doorcase with fluted pilasters, triglyph frieze to moulded entablature
and C19 half-glazed double doors with semi-circular fanlight. Cellar windows
have segmental-headed surrounds with projecting keystones. 3-bay returns in
similar style, north bay dating to 1972-3 rebuilding. Rear in 5 bays, centre 3
bays forming pedimented break mirroring that on south. Late C18 or early C19
service ranges around 3 sides of courtyard to rear are linked to main block by
late C20 ranges (built on site of late C18 linking ranges) in similar style to
the service ranges themselves. These are of one storey and attic lit by gabled
eaves dormers; hipped stone slate roof with ashlar ridge stacks. C19
segmental-headed wooden cross casements and boarded doors. North range has
4-centred vehicle entrance arch to centre. Interior. Much altered C19 and 1972-3
but retains some plaster cornices and beams to principal rooms. Reused medieval
stone corbel in cellar. The attribution to Townesend is on stylistic grounds. A
Cistercian monastery was founded at Bruern in 1147 and dissolved in 1536 but has
left no traces above ground (but q.v. under Red Brick Cottage). The house was
the home of Sir John Cope, defeated by the Scottish at the Battle of Prestonpans
in 1745. The terrace and steps to front of the house are C20 and are not
included in this list.
(Buildings of England: Oxfordshire: pp499-500; James Lees-Milne: English Country
Houses, Baroque 1685-1715/1970), p264; VCH: II (1907), pp79-81; David Knowles
and R. Neville Hadcock: Medieval Religious Houses (1971), ppl12-l16)

Listing NGR: SP2652020392

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.