Roads & Properties

No 02a

Abbey House

1844 Tythe No 448 house & lawn owned by Thomas Porch Porch

Now Church of England Retreat House. 1829-30; by John Buckler, for John Reeves. Altered and extended circa 1850-60; altered 1957.

Tudor Gothic. 2 storeys plus attics in gables. Freestone. 3 gabled bays come forward, the central bay with entrance. Moulded cornice. Crenellated parapets. Slate roof. Clustered stacks. Stringcourse. Moulded plinth. 6 mullioned and transomed windows of 2 and 3 lights with arched heads, all in square hoodmoulds. Central 1st floor window has carved corbel in form of an oriel. 4-centred arched doorway with carved spandrels. Double doors under porch. Lower 2-storey 4-window wing to right. Attached to north side of the house the service wing was extended into a small stable yard in about 1850-60.

INTERIOR largely intact, including Tudor style panelled doors in moulded doorcases, moulded plaster ceiling cornices and friezes, panelled window shutters, chimneypieces and original cantilevered main staircase with a Gothick cast-iron balustrade and servants' stairs with stick balusters. In 1957 the drawing room was converted into a chapel and the window on the east side was blocked. The Abbey Retreat House, Glastonbury Abbey (see Magdalene Street), Wall around grounds of the Abbey and Abbey Retreat House, and the listed buildings from No 3 to No 17 Chilkwell Street (North east side), all form an important group.

NOTE: In 1825-6 the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey were bought by John Reeves, who commissioned John Buckler to design this house, which was built in 1829-30 with the ruins of the Abbey in the grounds. An early example of the Tudor Gothic style, designed by the architect and antiquarian draughtsman, John Buckler.

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All images and text © Glastonbury Antiquarian Society 2022

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