Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Forde Abbey and Gardens, Somerset

Here we are at Forde Abbey on a dull and rainy day
Once described as the most perfect monastry in England.
Built almost 900 years ago by Cistercian monks, the abbey still embodies the serenity and phylosophy of the order who, lived, prayed and farmed here.

From 1141 to 2011, Forde Abbey is a stunning example of history preserved but not petrified, where the Kennard family continues to live and work in an informal style and where visitors receive a warm welcome.
One of my reasons for coming here was to see England's tallest fountain

We begin by walking through the kitchen gardens

before entering the main gardens

I had hoped that the sky would be blue as one does not get a full sense of the height of this fountain against the rainy sky. It helps a little to see how it compares with the hight of the abbey in the background

Maybe we can go in here and shelter from the rain for a while

Yes it's dry and we can look out onto another lake

Entrance to the family's private garden

Lunch in the abbey crypt
and with my dental surgery problem I am unable to order 
their own pheasant in a delicious sounding sauce
accompanied by fresh vegetables from the kitchen garden
It was soup for me - Aaaaaaah!

And just in case you are wondering, during the week these places are mostly populated by senior citizens as most others are at work! 

After lunch we visit the abbey's Bog garden, the best I have seen but in the next post


Willow said...

What a lovely abbey! You just keep showing me new places I want to visit!

Vee said...

A lovely monastery. That fountain is impressive as are the gardens. Your dry little hideaway was charming and must have been fun.

And how are you feeling this many weeks past dental surgery? Much better I hope!

Merisi said...

How comforting to know that the work of many generations is being honoured and taking so well care of! The gardens are incredibly beautiful, the fountain amazing. I love the white Japanese dogwood!

Elizabethd said...

What a fascinating place to visit. I can see why you wanted to see the fountain, it is amazing.

Susan said...

I know for certain, someday we will plan a trip to the UK, and I will consult with you for the "must-see", "Must-do" part of the trip!! Susan

Trisha said...

Such beauty. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your interesting pictures and historical sketches of England. It may well be that I will never get to visit England but I've always been fascinated by anything English. Probably my love of books kindled my interest in England and the Queen was much in the limelight back in my schooldays. Now, more recently Prince William and Kate have charmed Canadians! Mary Horst

HOPE said...

Thank you...so enjoyable..and your photography put me right there with you!!!

The fountain reminds me of the Jet d'Eau in Geneva Switzerland. It is 459 ft. 132 gallons of water per second are jetted to the height. I have seen this to my amazement also.

Looking forward to the next post..


Lorrie said...

What a beautiful place. The Cistercians emerged as a response to increasing worldliness in other monasteries. They marked a return to the Rule of St. Benedict and to a more humble religion. Their architecture is very pure - as can be seen from your photos. The fountain is beautiful, reaching high into the sky. Does it date from very far back?

I noticed the beautiful dogwood blossoms. They look exactly like the ones we have here. Beautiful and creamy.

I hope your dental surgery heals soon and you can enjoy "real" food once again.

Bishop Stone said...

That looks so nice. That fountaih is amazing.

bristowmom said...

The Abbey, the flowers, the fountain - all so beautiful.

Needled Mom said...

I am sorry to read that you continue to have problems with your dental work. That pheasant sounded really good!

The kitchen garden looks amazing! The fountain is incredible too. Even with the gloomy weather it look like a wonderful place to visit.

Terri said...

The place could be newly built!!! It is so well preserved. I love the arched windows with the little panes! I also love the dogwood. I want one for my garden. I'll have to see if I can find some seeds. There is a tree in a town near me... I love to start stuff from seeds.
Thanks again for a lovely tour. Seniors get to go because they've done the work in their youth and now reap the rewards. Sorry your dental surgery is still a bother. Hope it is remedied soon.

Lori Zehr said...

I really enjoyed this post!

Anonymous said...

Although the current family member running the Abbey is married to a Kennard, she was born a Roper. The fountain was built to commemorate 100 years of Roper family ownership of the Abbey.
My grandparents lived nearby and were friends of old Mr Roper (grandfather of Mrs Kennard) and his family so I occasionally accompanied them to private functions at the Abbey.