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Flaxley Abbey

A Grade I Listed Building in Blaisdon, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.8364 / 51°50'11"N

Longitude: -2.4511 / 2°27'4"W

OS Eastings: 369011

OS Northings: 215405

OS Grid: SO690154

Mapcode National: GBR FY.VDM7

Mapcode Global: VH86Z.G3JK

Plus Code: 9C3VRGPX+HG

Entry Name: Flaxley Abbey

Listing Date: 23 September 1955

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1299200

English Heritage Legacy ID: 354086

Location: Flaxley Abbey, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, GL14

County: Gloucestershire

District: Forest of Dean

Civil Parish: Blaisdon

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Flaxley St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester

Tagged with: Abbey

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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

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