Flaxley Abbey

13 Oct 1999
Flaxley Abbey, Blaisdon, Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire, GL14 1JR
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.


6/18 Flaxley Abbey



House; principal periods late C12, C14 (remains of Abbey), late C18, C19: 1777 - 1783 work by A. Keck for Sir Thomas Crawley- Boevey. Rendered main facades, with rough dark render lined in white to represent wide-jointed ashlar for walling, pale render to represent fine-jointed ashlar for dressings: elsewhere exposed brick; tiled roofs. Large 'L' plan, entrance block to south, 5X3, projecting from longer wing behind; at right angles on left long wing. 2 storey, with attics to long wing. Entrance front by Keck, ashlar plinth, plain string course to first floor, moulded to eaves, with crenellations above: corners square piers carried up above roof, capped with pyramid. In centre shaped gable, containing large sundial in Gothic surround, urn finial above; hipped roof. Sash windows with hoodmoulds; central ashlar porch, with crocketed ogee-headed arches in each face, square corner piers, crenellations above. Finials on corners date from 1960's.

Panelled front door with fanlight over. Returns 3-windowed, match front. On right a lower 2-storey wing, set back, 3 sash windows wide, crenellated, with bowed end facing east. To left, south wall of Abbot's Guest Hall, 2 storey, crenellated, no string course at first floor. 2 dummy windows on ground floor, painted, above 4 slits and a 3-light mullion and transom window in stone inserted after 1913. West face on left, recessed centre between gables. Ground floor 5 round-headed windows in centre, between ashlar buttresses, 2 in each cable (blind to right-hand one); all with hoodmoulds, mullion, transoms, and iron casements. First floor 4 windows to centre, flat headed, cyma-moulded timber tracery forming variation on Venetian window, with original double iron casements. Above crenellations, 4 hipped dormers; rainwater heads dated 1751. Chimneys have plain bases; one on right a plain stalk, centre and left diamond-set brick stalks. Right-hand gable has 3- light window with reticulated tracery inserted in 1913, above a bishop's mitre and a gable cross. The left gable has a flat- headed 3-light window with trefoil heads in timber, with iron casements. Above is a roundel with a quatrefoil moulded in coloured render: an iron weather vane sits on the apex. The single-storey wing in the rear courtyard dates from the 1960's.

Interior: the entrance hall has 3 original blind arches on each side on pilasters, and a moulded plaster cornice, framing similar arch of the stair hall beyond. Original doors and doorcases give onto rooms on each side, that on the right having an original Adam- style fireplace. The staircase has 3 turned balusters per tread, and fluted newels. The ground-floor room in the recessed part of the west facade is a late C12 5-bay undercroft, with quadripartite stone vaulting, the ribs rising from shield- shaped bosses: walls plastered. In second bay on right early C18 8-panel door leads into courtyard: externally it has stone bolection-moulded surround with pulvinated frieze. In fifth bay on right is a blocked round- headed window. In fourth a pointed-arched doorway has keel-moulded nook shafts on the outside. This leads to C17 stairs, in a projecting brick wing. The stairs have a pulvinated string, heavy turned balusters, square, panelled newels with ball finials and heavy moulded handrail. The Abbott's Guest Hall (C14) is at the south end of the wing, on the first floor: 3-and-a-half-bay, archbraced collar roof, the braces rising from crenellated timber corbels set below wallplate; half trusses in between. 2 pairs of purlins with cusped windbraces to each; crenellated timber cornice with hollow moulding below. Cistercian monastery founded mid C12 by Earl of Hereford. In addition only part of south wall of nave survives in Orangery (q.v.) Fire in 1777 destroyed north end of west range, partially rebuilt to different plan, and entrance wing added to south thereafter. Was the home of Mrs. C. Boevey, original of the 'Perverse Widow' in Addison's Sir Roger de Coverley. (J. Lees- Milne, Country Life, CLlll, ps. 842-984 passim; D. Verey, Gloucestershire, 1970. 185-7).

Listing NGR: SO6901015406


This is part of the Series: IOE01/1850 IOE Records taken by Derek Simmonds; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Mr Derek Simmonds. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Simmonds, Derek

Rights Holder: Simmonds, Derek


Ashlar, Brick, Iron, Render, Tile, Timber, Medieval Abbey, Religious Ritual And Funerary, Religious House, Church, Place Of Worship, Cistercian Monastery, Monastery, Undercroft, Unassigned, Building Component, Building, Guest House, Commercial, Domestic, Residential Building, Rainwater Head, Water Supply And Drainage, House, Monument <By Form>, Dwelling, Weather Vane, Sundial, Gardens Parks And Urban Spaces, Garden Ornament