Forde Abbey

Ancient house with ecclesiastical roots now the centrepiece of a magnificent thirty-acre garden.

Chard, Somerset, TA20 4LU

Forde Abbey in Somerset

Experience this house


Free for members
  • Cafe / restaurant
  • Facilities for children
  • Free parking
  • Pet friendly
  • Picnic area
  • Shop
  • Accessible toilets
  • Wheelchair ramps/routes
  • Access statement available
  • Accessible parking
  • Guide dogs welcome
Visit the house's website
for the latest information.

Forde Abbey is a former Cistercian monastery dating back to the early 12th century.

It was converted into a palatial family home during the mid 17th century. The house has exquisitely ornate plaster ceilings throughout the state rooms, together with collection of tapestries woven from cartoons drawn by Raphael for the Sistine Chapel, it is a unique family house.

Throughout the 20th century the 30 acres of gardens that surround this unique house have been transformed by the present owners. The gardens are now a diverse and breathtaking landscape fit for the house that they surround, from the productive Kitchen Garden, to the Arboretum, Rock Garden, Herbaceous Borders, Bog Garden, and Woodland Garden.

There is always something of interest for the visitor whatever the time of year.

Opening Times


Gardens: Open daily from 1 March to 31 October, 10.30am – 5pm (Last admission 4pm).

There is no need to book a time slot. Tickets are available to buy online in advance, or in the shop on arrival. The loos will be open.

House: Open Tuesday to Fridays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from 1 April to 31 October. 12 noon – 3.30pm (last admission).

Coffee shop: Open daily, 10.45am – 4.45pm.

Shop and Plant Centre: Open daily, 10.30am – 5pm.

Eeles Pottery: Open daily, 11.30am – 5pm.

The Coffee Shop, Gift Shop, Plant Nursery and Pottery are open from 1st March to 31st Oct, not open daily.

Please note: The information on the Historic Houses website is advisory, but please always check the website of the house or garden you intend to visit before travelling.

See their website to double check their opening times


Historic Houses members visit for free on normal open days.

Gardens only: £14.50

House and Gardens: £18

Single season ticket price: £30
Double season ticket price: £55

Group Visits

Groups and coaches are always welcome at Forde Abbey, where the house, gardens, tearoom, pottery exhibition, plant centre and gift shop provide activities enough for a full day out.

Special rates are available for groups of 10 people or more and it is also possible to arrange for one of our experienced guides to take you around the house.

The make the tours as informative and comfortable as possible they are conducted during hours when the house is not open to other visitors.

  • Accessible toilets
  • Wheelchair ramps/routes
  • Access statement available
  • Accessible parking
  • Guide dogs welcome
Visit the house's website
for the latest information.

Why our members love visiting Forde Abbey

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Forde Abbey garden event in Somerset

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