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HER Number:MDV128757
Name:Monastic church at Buckland Abbey


The original abbey church with its low tower dates to the late 13th-early 14th century. However, it was much altered by Sir Richard Greville in the 1570s who converted it into a Tudor mansion.


Grid Reference:SX 487 667
Map Sheet:SX46NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBuckland Monachorum
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBUCKLAND MONACHORUM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Tide Project: 16/07/2020

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CHURCH (Built, XIII to XVI - 1201 AD to 1600 AD (Between))

Full description

Gaskell-Brown, C., 1986 - 1987, Buckland Abbey, Devon, 3 (Report - Survey). SDV242027.

The abbey church which was about 37.5 metres long with a low tower dates to the late 13th-early 14th century, although it was possibly modified in the 15th century.
It was much altered in the 1570s by Richard Greville who converted it into a Tudor mansion. The roof was lowered, floors inserted, the transepts removed and a kitchen built at the south-east corner. Further modifications took place in the 18th century and again following a fire in 1939, all adding to the difficulties of retrieving medieval details.

Bullen, A., 2018, A souvenir guide. Buckland Abbey, Devon, 21-25, 46, 47 (Monograph). SDV363761.

Buckland Abbey was surrendered to the crown, following the dissolution of the monasteries, in 1539 and together with about a quarter of the estate was sold to Sir Richard Grenville in 1541. Grenville died in 1545 and it was not until the 1570s that his son, also Richard, who, after a number of years spent privateering, set about transforming the abbey church into a country seat. The space beneath the crossing became the great hall, two floors were inserted into the chancel and nave, and the south transept was demolished to allow more light into the great hall. Its roofline can still be seen on the south wall of the tower. A kitchen wing with a large open hearth was also added at the east end.
The site of the monastic high altar was discovered during repair works in 1917 and the room in which it was found was turned by Lady Elizabeth Drake into a chapel.

Ordnance Survey, 2020, MasterMap 2020 (Cartographic). SDV363413.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV242027Report - Survey: Gaskell-Brown, C.. 1986 - 1987. Buckland Abbey, Devon. Devon Religious Houses Survey. A4 Stapled + Digital. 3.
SDV363413Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2020. MasterMap 2020. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #126567 ]
SDV363761Monograph: Bullen, A.. 2018. A souvenir guide. Buckland Abbey, Devon. A souvenir guide. Buckland Abbey, Devon. Paperback. 21-25, 46, 47.

Associated Monuments

MDV5451Part of: Buckland Abbey (Monument)
MDV76193Related to: Buckland Abbey Tudor Mansion (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Mar 5 2021 3:54PM