Bourne Archive: Abbey House ©2007 R.J.PENHEY
http://boar.org.uk/abiwxs1AbbeyHouse.htm Latest edit 5 Apr 2011
The Bourne Archive
About 230 years after Bourne Abbey
was dissolved in 1536, George Pochin, the lord of the manor of Bourne Abbots
built himself a house on the site of the abbey’s claustral buildings. It is now
referred to as ‘Abbey House’ but when it was owned in turn by him, by his
sister, Mary and his widow, Eleanor, it was known as ‘The Abbey’, or ‘Bourne Abbey’.
It subsequently became the vicarage house and in 1879, it was pulled down and according
to oral reports, its materials used to build the succeeding vicarage (Birkbeck p71), which is
now the core building around which the Cedars retirement home has been
developed. Certainly, the porch appears to have been re-used though without its
little pediment. In 1985, when the latest vicarage was planned, an
archaeological excavation was made. This clearly revealed the footings of the
gentry part of the building but the service side was less thoroughly examined
as the focus of attention in the time available, was on the medieval claustral
buildings, under and to the east of Abbey House, where the eighteenth century
work had least disturbed them. The present vicarage house stands on the
Clicking on the relevant picture gives a more detailed view, with the caption expanded.
Fig. 1. This monument is mounted on the south wall of the chancel of Bourne Abbey. There are several memorials commemorating the more socially prominent Bourne people from this period, following the rebuilding of the chancel in 1807.
This one will have been erected after Eleanor Pochin’s husband had died in 1798 but stylistically, it is certainly earlier than Eleanor’s death in 1823. Though it is in keeping with the 1790s, it may date from after the building in 1807, of the wall on which it is mounted. That it is earlier than 1823 is a conclusion supported by the fact that the lettering styles in the two panels detailing the achievements respectively of George and Eleanor, do not match. The monument portrays a widow watching over an urn representing the deceased husband but provision had been made for commemorating her in turn, as her details are not simply added at the bottom of a panel.
George and Eleanor had lived in Abbey House, built by George Pochin in 1764.
Fig. 2. The memorial’s details of the lives of George and Eleanor Pochin. By 1825, the date of the Bourne Abbots estate map, the manor and Abbey House were the property of trustees, apparently on behalf of William Ann Pochin. Eleanor had inherited them on the death of her sister-in-law, Mary in 1804. Mary had inherited them on George’s death in 1798 (Birkbeck pp56 & 82).
Fig. 3. The map is a detail from the Bourne Abbots Estate Map. It shows
Fig. 4. The
The complex course of the river around the church and Abbey House premises arose from its use as a boundary around the monastic buildings. The 1985 excavation revealed that it had originally passed close to the north of the refectory (RJP1). Its course had subsequently been moved a little to the north. This accounts for the kink in the west-east part of its course. Its old course would have taken it very close to the foundations of the eighteenth century house. The later course now lies in a culvert past the present vicarage, though it was culverted well before that house was built.
Fig. 5. A photograph of the east front of Abbey House as it was during its period as the vicarage. The river flows from under the low wing to the north and the kink in the river is evident in the foreground. To the south of the main block, the chimney on what is likely to have been the kitchen, has been rebuilt in nineteenth century style since Coney did his engraving in 1819 (Fig. 6.). Beyond Abbey House, the ends of the buildings of the house now known as Bourne Eau House are visible north and south. In the foreground, some of the sheep of the Abbey sheep lawn are visible though they have moved during the exposure of the photographic plate.
Fig. 6. Detail from Coney’s engraving of the west front of Bourne
Abbey; 1819. The façade of the
Fig. 7. The doorway between Abbey House and the
Go to Fig.1.