Forde Abbey and Gardens
The Gardens The Gardens are open every day throughout the year from 10am. Last admission is at 4.30pm and they close at 6.30pm. The House The House is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from the 1st April 2011 until the 31st October 2011 from 12 noon with last entry at 4pm
Tel. 01460 220231
Postcode TA20 4LU
Forde Abbey is a treasure in an area already known for its outstanding beauty. More than 900 years of history and romance are encapsulated in this elegant former Cistercian monastery surrounded by 30 acres of spectacular award winning gardens. The landscape has developed slowly since monastic times. The monks certainly grew vegetables in large quantities, but whatever gardens they had have disappeared over the centuries. The only monastic structure that remains today is the Great Pond at the top of the garden. This now brings water into the garden but originally its purpose was to power a mill for grain, which stood on the site of the present day Forge. Sir Francis Gwyn created the beginnings of the garden that we see today during the early 18th century. Monsieur Beaumont, who was a pupil of Le Notre in Paris, and later worked for Col. Graham at Levens Hall in Cumbria, may well have influenced the design. Graham and Gwyn were close friends and colleagues in parliament. Gwyn used the water to create the three lower ponds and the cascades that can be viewed from the centre of the Border. He also planted the great Yews as part of his design, and probably the largest Limes.
Forde Abbey, Chard, Somerset TA20 4LU. Tel. 01460 220231