Walled kitchen gardens in West Oxfordshire

Barton Abbey

Barton Abbey is a private house in the village of Steeple Barton, some 13.7 kilometres east of Chipping Norton. The former manor house was built in about 1570 for John Dormer and altered for the recusant Ralph Sheldon in 1678-9. The house was remodelled between 1849 and about 1862 to Tudor Revival designs by the architect S S Teulon. Around 1860, it was renamed Barton Abbey because of a belief that Osney Abbey had had a cell there. The house underwent further refurbishment in the late 1890s and early 20th century.

The map reference for this garden in the 1st ed. OS map of 1881,  shows a rectangular productive walled kitchen garden. The historic path layout shows a two sided slip along the south and west walls, with paths that edge the garden and criss cross centrally. There also appear to be buildings on separate land to the north and south east of the garden. On the 2nd ed. OS map of 1900, on the land north of the walled garden there is evidence of a glasshouse, in the centre of the garden, running north south and two sheds, one running along the east wall and one to the north of the glasshouse. By the 3rd ed. OS map of 1922, there has been little change, except the slip at the south appears to have merged with the grassland.

The current 2010 Landline map shows two extant buildings to the north and east and two glasshouses, implying that this may be a two part garden with buildings only in the northern part.

Barton Abbey's garden is occasionally open through the National Garden Scheme.

Sources of information