The Original Garden Visitor's Guide

Forde Abbey and Gardens

Forde Abbey is a treasure in an area already known for its outstanding beauty. Almost 900 years of history are encapsulated in this elegant former Cistercian monastery and its 30 acres of award-winning gardens.

The last abbot re-modelled the abbey, and further developments by Edmund Prideaux transformed the house into the magnificent private residence it is today, leading Pevsner to include it as one of the Hundred Best Buildings of England.

However, Forde Abbey is first and foremost a family home, offering a warm friendly welcome to our visitors. The architectural beauty of the house, with its striking interiors, and the varied gardens which surround it - including a mature arboretum, rockery, bog garden, working walled kitchen garden and new winter garden under development - make Forde Abbey a delightful destination. The cascade of lakes and ponds provide a wonderful setting for the Centenary Fountain, the highest powered fountain in England.

The garden is a delight throughout the year, from early spring bulbs to Autumn colours. Please see our website for all year round events, including an Easter trail, over 40,000 tulips in bloom, our annual Summer fair and Autumn harvest festival. There are also special events such as Sweet Pea Fortnight, so do keep an eye on our calendar.

The fruits of the garden and farm can be sampled in the Undercroft Tea room, with a wide selection of delicious homemade lunches and cakes. A gift shop, plant centre and pottery exhibition add to the day.

Fact File

Opening times: Gardens open daily throughout the year from 10am (last admission 4.30pm). House open 27th March to end of October, 12noon-4pm (last admission) on Tue-Fri, Sundays & Bank Holiday Mondays.
Admission Rates: Tel: 01460 221290
Groups Rates: Minimum group size 10, Tel: 01460 220231.
Facilities: Shop, Plant Sales, Tea Room and Pottery Exhibition.
Disabled Access: Yes. (House other than Great Hall not suitable for wheelchairs) Loo and parking for disabled on site.
Wheelchair and Battery Car on loan, booking necessary. To book 01460 221699.
Tours: Tours for pre-arranged groups only.
Coach Parking: Yes
Length of Visit: 3 hours
Booking Contact: Mrs Carolyn Clay
Forde Abbey, Chard, TA20 4LU
Telephone: 01460 220231
Location: Signposted from A30 Chard to Crewkerne & from A358 Chard to Axminster. 4 miles south east of Chard.

Updated 06/12/2017

Forde Abbey
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