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Buckfast Abbey, Main Block, Buckfastleigh

Description: Buckfast Abbey, Main Block

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 10 January 1951
English Heritage Building ID: 392218

OS Grid Reference: SX7414167369
OS Grid Coordinates: 274141, 67369
Latitude/Longitude: 50.4926, -3.7757

Location: Buckfast Road, Buckfastleigh, Devon TQ11 0EA

Locality: Buckfastleigh
Local Authority: Teignbridge District Council
County: Devon
Country: England
Postcode: TQ11 0EA

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

There is also a scheduled monument, The North Gate and Part of the Precinct Area of Buckfast Abbey, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure.

Explore more of the area around Buckfastleigh, Devon at Explore Britain.

Listing Text


SX7467 BUCKFAST ROAD, Buckfast
1011-1/5/28 Buckfast Abbey, main block
(Formerly Listed as:
Chapel of St Anne, Buckfast Abbey)
(Formerly Listed as:
Abbot's Tower, Buckfast Abbey)
(Formerly Listed as:
Remains of house incorporated into
Abbey to SW of Abbey Church)


Abbey. Includes the probably C14 Abbot's Tower, a c1800
mansion built for Samuel Berry, incorporating a medieval
vaulted undercroft, and a building programme begun in 1883 to
the designs of FA Walters for the Benedictine monks who
purchased the site. Local grey limestone rubble, some
Bathstone and Ham Hill stone dressings; slate roofs. Walter's
designs are a simplified Romanesque "no doubt influenced by
the history of the site" (Pevsner).
Plan: the programme begun in 1883 largely followed the site of
the medieval cloister and incorporated the Berry house with
undercroft, the Abbot's Tower and an 1882 church (now the
chapter house) into a courtyard range. The 1882 church
preceded Walter's rebuilding of the abbey church, largely on
the foundations of the medieval abbey church. The Abbot's
Tower is at the south end of the west range with Berry's house
at the north end; church south of and broken forward from the
Abbot's tower. North and east ranges to Walter's designs.
EXTERIOR: Abbot's Tower. 3 storeys. Octagonal stair turret at
SW corner. Set-back buttresses with parapet above moulded
string. 2-light stone mullioned windows to west and north
faces upper windows with flamboyant tracery.
Berry House. Partly concealed by Walter's building, the
3-storey c1800 building reused medieval masonry. The house was
originally castellated, the entrance, with octagonal corner
towers and a central projecting bay with 2-light transomed
mullioned window is visible above the single storey gabled
entrance block of the Walter phase.
Church. West end has blocked ground-floor doorway, 3-light
west window with intersecting cusped tracery and lancet
windows to the sides. Claustral buildings. West elevation, the
most prominent, has a 7-bay Romanesque-style front, the bays
divided by pilasters, corbelled eaves. Ground floor has
round-headed windows with recessed architraves, glazed with
square leaded panes. Round-headed doorway in the 2nd bay from
the north with double chamfered arch. Battered string at
first-floor level rises as a gable over the door, gable carved
with 'pax' the motto of the Benedictines. First-floor windows
in large round-headed recesses. Windows mostly paired and
round-headed, glazed with square leaded panes. First-floor
windows, similarly glazed, also paired to each bay with blind
round-headed tympana. North and east claustral ranges in the
same style.
INTERIOR: plain medieval vaulted undercroft below Berry House,
with access from the abbey church (qv). Interior of other
buildings not inspected but Pevsner notes classical fireplaces
in Berry House.
The Grade II* reflects the importance of the medieval
buildings incorporated in this complex and the significance of
the whole site.
(Buildings of England: Pevsner N: Devon: London: 1989-:
222-226; Proceedings of Devon Archaeological Society, No 46
(1988): Brown S W: Excavations & Building Recording at
Buckfast Abbey, Devon: Devon: 1988-).

Listing NGR: SX7414167369

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.