Warden Abbey is an archetypal Landmark – ancient, picturesque, rural, and an intriguing fragment of something much larger and very important. The Cistercian abbey was founded in 1135. What survives today is mostly a Tudor remodelling of 1550 that was once part of the abbot’s lodgings. It was restored by Landmark in 1976.
Every now and then, we think that a Landmark would benefit from a re-think in how the accommodation is laid out. Many people felt that the ground floor living room was a bit crowded, whereas we weren’t making the most of the splendid first floor room as a bedroom. So we have decided to reverse these two floors to provide a combined kitchen, sitting and dining room on the first floor, complete with the fireplace and its delightful Elizabethan chimneystack brought into use for the first time.
The ground floor living room has been turned into a more spacious double bedroom
The double bedroom has moved to the floor below, and as we no longer have the separate ground floor kitchen, we have turned what was the kitchen into a new en-suite bathroom. The existing bathroom, which incorporates one of the huge medieval buttresses of the monastic buildings, has been refurbished to provide a large walk-in shower. We have retained the little closet (with WC and basin) off the first floor room so that those sleeping in the attic room need now only travel one floor at night.
The new oak kitchen on the first floor has been made and installed by Landmark’s own craftsmen Mark Smitten and Luke Rose.
Unusually, Warden Abbey is both a Scheduled Monument as well as being Grade 1 listed. All the surrounding landscape with its intriguing bumps and hollows is also a SM. Consent was needed from The Secretary of State (via Historic England), and we had to have an archaeologist in attendance during any excavation just in case we should uncover anything of interest.
Warden Abbey now joins a number of other Landmarks where the living accommodation is up on the first floor – two recent examples being Astley Castle and the Warren House.
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