The Abbot's House, Muchelney Abbey

25 Oct 1999
The Abbot's House, Muchelney Abbey, Muchelney, South Somerset, Somerset
Photograph (Digital)
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This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.

MUCHELNEY CP - ST42SW 8/221 The Abbot's House, Muchelney Abbey 17.4.59


Abbot's Lodgings of Benedictine Abbey, latter demolished, incorporating fragments of south cloister walk and west wall of refectory. C14/15. Local lias stone with Ham stone dressings; Welsh slate roofs, mostly with stepped coped gables; stone chimney stacks. Complex plan, representing south west corner of the abbey buildings. Two and 3 storeys, north elevation has 6 bays of former south cloister walk; C15 pointed arches, blocked but with some fragments of window tracery; 2-storey height bay buttresses; to upper level bays 1, 3 and 4 are 2-light flat- headed traceried windows; to west a recessed portion with blocked door and window, then north of Abbot's Lodging, containing guest room; moulded plinth, chamfered segmental pointed arch, bay 1, with fragment of west cloister over; C20 windows lower bays 2 and 3; upper bay 3 has 2-light flat headed C16 window with square label. West elevation of two gables with lean-to: north gable has plain rectangular window with iron bars below, and to first floor a 4-light C16 flat headed window with label, and in gable a small single-light window to match, under label, now blocked; south gable has a blocked C13 2-light window at head; below a lean-to, and on return of north gable a garderobe. South elevation of 6 bays, of which bays 1 to 3 are of several dates; bays 4 to 6 are c1500: low buttresses either side of bays 1 and 2, with rectangular chamfered 2-light windows at mezzanine level both bays, with chamfered pointed segmental arched doorway lower bay 2; bay 3 has C16 2-light windows both levels, with labels: remaining bays represent a reshaped gable, with moulded plinth, angled corner and bay buttresses, string courses, and battlemented parapet screening former coped gable over bays 5 and 6, with ornamental stone chimney between bays 4 and 5; 2-light traceried windows with cinquefoil cusped heads to ogee lights, flanked by quatrefoil tracery, the upper, to abbot's parlour, having traceried transomes; bay 4 although in same style, suggests an afterthought. East elevation has a 2-bay return, with 4-centre arches below, one panelled, both now blocked; then the south wall of cloister walk, with 3 bays of 5-light blind tracery, with traceried transomes, and eaves course over. Interior well preserved; entrance on south leads into original kitchen, and then to north the guest room, with oak beam ceiling and stone fireplace with cornice and spice cupboard; good flight stone stairs, leading to abbot's parlour, which has beamed ceiling, stone fireplace with panelled jambs, 4 quatrefoil panels to deep lintol, under deep carved cornice, and above blank panel crowned with 2 recumbent lions; on south wall fine wood settle with linenfold panelling, with some early C16 glass fragments in windows over; several upper chambers, including some over south cloister walk, which retains fragments of vaulting and tracery. Good timber truss roof, of early braced collar truss form, but in fact incorporating double raised crucks. Originally established in late C7, it was destroyed, then refounded c950, rebuilt c1100 and again in late C15. It was a very large establishment for never more than 20 monks, who in 1335 were charged with living too well! After dissolution the Abbot's lodging became a farmhouse, passing into guardianship in 1927, being now in the care of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England. Scheduled Ancient Monument (Somerset County No. 4l). VCH, vol III, 1974; D of E Guidebook; Wood M, The English Medieval House, 1965; Pantin W A, Medieval Priest's Houses in south west England, Medieval Archeology, 1957).

Listing NGR: ST4284424842


This is part of the Series: IOE01/1876 IOE Records taken by Graham Slocombe; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Mr Graham Slocombe. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Slocombe, Graham

Rights Holder: Slocombe, Graham


Ham Hill Stone, Lias, Stone, Timber, Welsh Slate, Medieval Monastic Dwelling, Tudor Domestic, Clerical Dwelling, House, Dwelling, Cruck House, Monument <By Form>, Timber Framed House, Timber Framed Building, Farmhouse, Agricultural Dwelling, Agriculture And Subsistence, Farm Building, Agricultural Building, Abbey, Religious Ritual And Funerary, Religious House, Benedictine Monastery, Monastery