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HER Number:MDV20065
Name:Mansion at Buckfast Abbey


Remains of an early 19th century mansion at Buckfast Abbey on the site of some of the Medieval conventual buildings and incorporated into the later abbey


Grid Reference:SX 741 673
Map Sheet:SX76NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishBuckfastleigh
Ecclesiastical ParishBUCKFASTLEIGH

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX76NW/24/12
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 392218

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANSION HOUSE (XIX - 1825 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Brooking Rowe, J., 1876, The Cistercian Houses of Devon, Part 3: Buckfast, 809-86 (Article in Serial). SDV348424.

A house was built on the site of some of the Medieval conventual buildings in 1825.

Rowe, J. B., 1884, On Recent Excavations at Buckfast Abbey (Article in Serial). SDV348426.

In 1882, monks expelled from France took possession of the house.

Everett, A. W., 1935, Buckfast Abbey Grange, 165 (Article in Serial). SDV348578.

Buckfast Abbey Grange. In 1806 the abbey ruins were almost entirely swept away and a pseudo-Gothic mansion erected on the site. House lies partially over Medieval remains.

Department of Environment, 1983, Buckfastleigh, 2 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV337043.

Remains of circa 1800 mansion incorporated into later abbey. Built by Sam Berry, who bought and demolished the remains of the abbey, and also built woollen mills on the site. House built of stone from the site in a castellated Tudor style. Stone rubble with octagonal corner turrets and splayed centre bay.

English Heritage, 2011, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV347072.

Buckfast Abbey, main block was Listed on 10th January 1951. It was formerly Listed as Buckfast Chapel of St Anne, and Buckfast Abbot's Tower, and Buckfast Remains of house incorporated into Abbey to south-west of Abbey Church. Includes the probably 14th century Abbot's Tower, a circa 1800 mansion built for Samuel Berry, incorporating a Medieval vaulted undercroft, and a building programme begun in 1883 to the designs of F A 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 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. Three storeys. Octagonal stair turret at south-west 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 circa 1800 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.
Interior: plain Medieval vaulted undercroft below Berry House, with access from the abbey church. 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. Other details: LBS Number 392218.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV337043List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1983. Buckfastleigh. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 2.
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV348424Article in Serial: Brooking Rowe, J.. 1876. The Cistercian Houses of Devon, Part 3: Buckfast. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 8. A5 Hardback. 809-86.
SDV348426Article in Serial: Rowe, J. B.. 1884. On Recent Excavations at Buckfast Abbey. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 16. Hardback Volume + Digital.
SDV348578Article in Serial: Everett, A. W.. 1935. Buckfast Abbey Grange. Buckfast Abbey Chronicle. Unknown. 165.

Associated Monuments

MDV7809Related to: Abbots Tower at Buckfast Abbey (Building)
MDV20064Related to: St Mary's Abbey Church at Buckfast Abbey (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Feb 9 2021 12:38PM