Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

West Oxfordshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


BRUERN SP22SE 7/5 Bruern Abbey (Formerly listed as Bruern 27.8.57 Abbey and Terrace in front)


Country house. Circa 1720, possibly by William Townesend for John Cope on the site of a Cistercian abbey. Rear of house and much of interior destroyed by fire in 1780, after which two 3-storey wings running back from the main block and linking with service ranges around a courtyard were added. This courtyard was partly infilled in C19 when a staircase hall was built. In 1972-3 the C19 additions were removed and the north front of the main block rebuilt in a style imitative of the original early C18 south front. Limestone ashlar to early C18 work, regularly coursed limestone rubble to service ranges and C20 rebuilding; main block has low-pitched hipped slate roof with 2 ridge stacks and integral end stacks, partly concealed by balustraded parapet with ball finials to corners. 2 storeys over cellars. 2:3:2 bays, centre section forming pedimented break with banded pilaster strips and oculus to pediment. 15-paned glazing bar Sashes in moulded surrounds with keystones and aprons, 2 outer first-floor windows on either side with aprons above as well as below. Central entrance; late C18 doorcase with fluted pilasters, triglyph frieze to moulded entablature and C19 half-glazed double doors with semi-circular fanlight. Cellar windows have segmental-headed surrounds with projecting keystones. 3-bay returns in similar style, north bay dating to 1972-3 rebuilding. Rear in 5 bays, centre 3 bays forming pedimented break mirroring that on south. Late C18 or early C19 service ranges around 3 sides of courtyard to rear are linked to main block by late C20 ranges (built on site of late C18 linking ranges) in similar style to the service ranges themselves. These are of one storey and attic lit by gabled eaves dormers; hipped stone slate roof with ashlar ridge stacks. C19 segmental-headed wooden cross casements and boarded doors. North range has 4-centred vehicle entrance arch to centre. Interior. Much altered C19 and 1972-3 but retains some plaster cornices and beams to principal rooms. Reused medieval stone corbel in cellar. The attribution to Townesend is on stylistic grounds. A Cistercian monastery was founded at Bruern in 1147 and dissolved in 1536 but has left no traces above ground (but q.v. under Red Brick Cottage). The house was the home of Sir John Cope, defeated by the Scottish at the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745. The terrace and steps to front of the house are C20 and are not included in this list. (Buildings of England: Oxfordshire: pp499-500; James Lees-Milne: English Country Houses, Baroque 1685-1715/1970), p264; VCH: II (1907), pp79-81; David Knowles and R. Neville Hadcock: Medieval Religious Houses (1971), ppl12-l16) [2442]

Listing NGR: SP2652720358


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Knowles, D , Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales, (1971), 112 116
Milne, J L, English Country Houses Baroque 1685-1715, (1970), 264
Pevsner, N, Sherwood, J, The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire, (1974), 499 500
Salzman, L F, The Victoria History of the County of Oxford, (1907)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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