Abbott was born in Exeter and his finest works depict his native Devonshire. As a pupil of Francis Towne (1739-1816) he mastered the technique of the delicate pen outline and in his large drawings he exploits the contrast between loose, flat washes and delicate tracery. Finding large sheets difficult to manipulate outdoors, Abbott preferred to piece together several small sheets: the present watercolour is executed on nine joined pieces.
Ugbrooke Park was the seat of the sixth Lord Clifford, friend and patron of Francis Towne. Towne was a frequent visitor there and drawing master to Lord Clifford's children. Presumably Abbott visited Ugbrooke in the company of Towne. Robert Adam and John 'Capability' Brown were commissioned to remodel the house, grounds and garden in the mid 18th Century.