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Mount St Bernard Abbey

A Grade II Listed Building in Charley, Leicestershire

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Latitude: 52.7414 / 52°44'29"N

Longitude: -1.3233 / 1°19'23"W

OS Eastings: 445782

OS Northings: 316191

OS Grid: SK457161

Mapcode National: GBR 7JQ.28C

Mapcode Global: WHDHV.NC26

Entry Name: Mount St Bernard Abbey

Listing Date: 16 January 1989

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1074164

English Heritage Legacy ID: 358154

Location: Charley, North West Leicestershire, Leicestershire, LE67

County: Leicestershire

District: North West Leicestershire

Civil Parish: Charley

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: St James the Greater, Oaks in Charnwood,

Church of England Diocese: Leicester

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Listing Text

SK 41 NE
Mount Saint Bernard

Cistercian monastery. Church choir, cloister ranges and centre-piece of guest
house were built 1839-44 by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin. Extensions of later 1840s-1860s by Edward Welby Pugin include octagonal chapter house (1860), flanking bays of guest house, almshouse, and link range to guest house. Clock tower added 1871. Former farm buildings at east end are in part mid C19 but were extended around a further court 1885 and incorporated in domestic quarters 1930s. Church extended to east by central crossing and lay nave 1935-39 by Albert Herbert. Further extension to guest house 1970s. Abbey is built of local granite rubble with ashlar dressings and Swithland slate roofs. Arranged around 4 courts with guest house at west end and 2 courts of former farm buildings at east end. Church lies along north side, with monastic choir at west end. South of choir is original cloister with former scriptorium along north side, former chapter house, now sacristy, and parlour to east, former refectory and dormitory range to south, and domestic rooms to west. Plan is based on that of Waverley Abbey, the first medieval Cistercian foundation in England. In plain early English style with chamfered lancet windows. Church is of cruciform plan with aisled nave and choir. Original choir has moulded parapets, 7 bays of lancet windows, and triple lancets in west end. West door in moulded arch of 4 orders. Niche with statue of Virgin and Child in west gable. 5-bay lay nave built in matching style to east, 1930s. 1930s transepts have 2 bays of lancets, triple lancets in gable ends, and narrow flanking bays with gables and lancets at end of each aisle. Imposing central tower with triple lancets to bell-chamber, and stumpy parapet. Interior has double-chamfered arcades on cylindrical piers with
moulded capitals. Crossing is vaulted but remainder has wooden roofs with
scissor trusses and wind-braces. Fittings include choir stalls of 1938 by Eric
Gill, with later backs, and crucifix and stone plaques over side altars by
Father 0'Malley. Cloisters are enclosed, with pairs of lancets to north, west
and south, and single lights in east side. North side is altered, with windows
renewed C20. Range along west side has gabled semi-dormers with single leaded
lights, one larger dormer with 2-light traceried window, and clock tower with
slated spire. Refectory-dormitory range to south has cusped lights. 2 dormers
and an empty bell-turret. Long south front of this range has 2 storeys of
cusped single lights, and projecting round stair tower with conical roof.
Arched doorway to tower is a 1930s addition. Part of range to right of tower,
formerly kitchens, has been raised to 2 storeys and has C20 window at right
end. Left end of range is 1850s with 1930s rectangular projecting bay.
Dormitory has been internally divided into individual rooms, and refectory has
C20 partition. Returning to cloister, east side has moulded arch opposite entry
to sacristy. This has another arched doorway flanked by 2-light traceried
windows, plate-traceried roundel in gable end, and original roof interrupted by
C20 dormers. Octagonal chapter house beyond was converted to library, 1970s, but
retains hammerbeam roof, encaustic floor tiles and re-sited doorways. This room
also houses carved wooden figure of Virgin and Child, probably C15 Flemish,
from Hailes Abbey, Gloucestershire. Guest-house range has 3 original gabled
bays to centre, with irregular groups of cusped lights. Centre bay also has
wide 4-centred archway, small statue in niche, and empty bellcote. Flanking
bays in matching style are of the late 1840s, with C20 windows to ground floor
right. Almshouse projects to right, with arch in gabled side porch. Range
extended to rear C20. Mount St Bernard's, founded in 1835, was the first abbey
to be founded in England since the Dissolution. Present buildings are sited on
land given by Ambrose Lisle March-Phillips de Lisle of Grace Dieu, and were
sponsored by the Earl of Shrewsbury. They replace a smaller monastery, now
demolished, begun 1837 by William Railton on nearby site. Much of the building
work was done by members of the community.

Listing NGR: SK4578216191

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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