Attraction in Chard

Forde Abbey and Gardens, Chard, Somerset

Forde Abbey and Gardens

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More than 900 years of history is encapsulated in this elegant former Cistercian monastery and its 30 acres of award winning gardens. In the peaceful solitude of its secluded position it is possible to imagine just how it looked to many of its previous owners: monks going about their daily round of work and prayer, prosperous parliamentary gentlemen discussing the cavalier threat, gifted philosophers debating the imponderable, elegant Victorian ladies fanning themselves by the fireside and country gentlemen going about their work on the estate.

Set on the banks of the River Axe this beautiful home contains many treasures including the Mortlake Tapestries, woven from cartoons painted for the Sistine Chapel by Raphael. The intricacy of their original design is matched by the story behind these particular tapestries involving civil war, rebellion and loyalty rewarded.

The beautiful gardens that surround the house date from the early 18th century, although much work has been done by the present occupiers. Highlights of the garden include: carpets of springtime bulbs, a magnificent Bog Garden, Beech House, summer borders, a working kitchen garden and the remarkable Centenary Fountain the highest powered fountain in England. The garden has been described by Alan Titchmarsh as one of the greatest gardens of the West Country.

The Undercroft Tearoom serving morning coffee, lunches and cream teas (using produce from the garden, estate and local suppliers) together with the gift shop, plant centre and pottery exhibition will complete a perfect day out.


Months Open: Gardens only: All Year 10 - 4.30 (last admissions)
House: April - October; 12 - 4 Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sun & BH Mons
Groups/Parties Welcome: Yes - 15+
Discount for Groups: Yes - Tel. 01460 220231
Coach Parking: Yes
Car Parking: Yes
Gift Shop: Yes - & plant centre
Catering: Tea room

More Attractions nearby

Chard and District Museum (0.36 miles)

Ferne Animal Sanctuary (3.10 miles)

Perry's Cider Mills (4.01 miles)

Dillington House (5.02 miles)

Axminster Heritage Centre (6.61 miles)

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