Visit to Buckfast Abbey (Buildings Section)
Mon. 7 September 2020 at 2:00 pm
Buckfast Abbey forms part of an active Benedictine monastery. The first Benedictine abbey founded in 1018 was followed by a Cistercian abbey constructed in 1134. The monastery was surrendered for dissolution in 1539, with the monastic buildings stripped before being demolished. The site was used as a quarry, and later became home to a Gothic mansion.
In 1882 the site was purchased by a group of French Benedictine monks, who re-founded a monastery. New monastic buildings and a temporary church were constructed, being formally reinstated as an Abbey in 1902. Work on a new abbey church, constructed mostly on the footprint of the former Cistercian abbey, began in 1907 and was consecrated in 1932.
We will be guided by Peter Beacham, former Chair of the DA and editor of a book on the history and archaeology of Buckfast Abbey published to mark its millennium in 2018.
2:00 Meet in the upper room of the Guesthall (directions below) for a presentation on the history, architecture and art of the Abbey.
2:45 Tour of the Abbey precinct, including the medieval survivals and restorations, late C20 and early C21 buildings of architectural note, and the exterior of the Abbey.
3:45 Tour of Abbey interior.
4:30 Tea in Grange Restaurant.
Accessibility: Most of the tour is on level ground but there are some slopes and steps. Access to the upper room of the Guesthall is by stairs only; there is no lift, but assistance can be provided.
Directions: Postcode TQ11 0EE. Buckfast (not to be confused with nearby Buckfastleigh) is just off the A38 and the Abbey is well signposted from the turnoff. Parking is free, as is entry to the Abbey precinct. Once through the entrance archway, turn to the right and look for the shop. Access to the upper room of the Guesthall is at the far end of the shop.
The cost does not include the afternoon refreshments, and in addition members are asked to leave a donation in the Church.