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HER Number:MDV7809
Name:Abbots Tower at Buckfast Abbey


Abbots Tower at Buckfast Abbey built in the 14th or15th centruy adjoining the south-west corner of the western cloister range and incorporated into a mansion in the early 19th century


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

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 444830
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX76NW/24/1
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 392218
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX76NW18

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • TOWER (XIV to XVIII - 1301 AD to 1800 AD (Between))

Full description

Lankey, J., 1796, Untitled Source (Article in Serial). SDV348514.

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

'Tower' shown on 19th century map to the north of 'St Mary's R.C. Chapel'

Anon, 1884, Antiquarian Intelligence, 128 (Article in Serial). SDV348446.

Rowe, J. B., 1884, Recent Excavations at Buckfast Abbey, 590-4 (Article in Serial). SDV348426.

In 1882 a temporary chapel was erected adjoining the abbots tower. Other details: Plan.

Stephan, J., 1924, Some Artistic Remains of Buckfast Abbey, 196 (Article in Serial). SDV348439.

Ordnance Survey, 1951, SX76NW18 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV294759.

Abbot's Tower has been restored. This fragment of the Medieval abbey is of three storeys and built of blocks of local shaley stone. The windows with carved human heads for dripstones would appear to be of 15th century date. The tower has a cellar and it contains fireplaces and garderobes with a well and a staircase with landings to every floor. The entrance appears to have been from the south on the first floor. Other details: Photograph.

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

14th/15th century three storey square stone rubble tower, with large octagonal stair turret on south-west corner. Part of the abbots lodgings.

Brown, S. W., 1988, Excavations and Building Recording at Buckfast Abbey, 15 (Article in Serial). SDV348443.

The 'Abbot's Tower' is a late Medieval residential block of three storeys which was built out from the south-west corner of the western cloister range.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 222-3 (Monograph). SDV325629.

Other details: Plan.

National Monuments Record, 1999, 444830 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV348516.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2000, Buckfast Abbey (Schedule Document). SDV348444.

'Abbot's Tower' circa 14th century. Adjoins south-west corner of claustral block. Survived later depredations largely through incorporation into a mansion, circa 1806. Listed Grade II*.

Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

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

The main block at Buckfast Abbey includes the probably 14th century Abbot's Tower, a circa 1800 mansion built for Samuel Berry, incorporating a Medieval vaulted undercroft.The programme begun in 1883 largely followed the site of the Medieval cloister and incorporated the Abbot's Tower of three storeys with an octagonal stair turret at south-west corner. Set-back buttresses with parapet above moulded string and two light stone mullioned windows to west and north faces. The upper windows have flamboyant tracery. Other details: LBS Number 392218.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV294759Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey. 1951. SX76NW18. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 222-3.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV337043List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1983. Buckfastleigh. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 2.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #105001 ]
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV348426Article in Serial: Rowe, J. B.. 1884. Recent Excavations at Buckfast Abbey. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 16. A5 Hardback. 590-4.
SDV348439Article in Serial: Stephan, J.. 1924. Some Artistic Remains of Buckfast Abbey. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 56. A5 Hardback. 196.
SDV348443Article in Serial: Brown, S. W.. 1988. Excavations and Building Recording at Buckfast Abbey. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 46. Paperback Volume. 15.
SDV348444Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2000. Buckfast Abbey. The Schedule of Monuments. Website.
SDV348446Article in Serial: Anon. 1884. Antiquarian Intelligence. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 40. Unknown. 128.
SDV348514Article in Serial: Lankey, J.. 1796. Gentleman's Magazine. Unknown.
SDV348516National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 1999. 444830. National Monuments Record Database. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV7808Part of: Buckfast Abbey (Building)
MDV7814Related to: Abbey Farmhouse , Buckfast Abbey (Building)
MDV20062Related to: Buckfast Abbey Guesthouse (Building)
MDV7810Related to: Cemetery at Buckfast Abbey (Monument)
MDV20065Related to: Mansion at Buckfast Abbey (Building)
MDV7846Related to: North Gate at Buckfast Abbey (Monument)
MDV20067Related to: Range of buildings to south of Abbot's Tower, Buckfast Abbey (Building)
MDV20064Related to: St Mary's Abbey Church at Buckfast Abbey (Building)
MDV7813Related to: Well in Crypt of Buckfast Abbey (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5678 - Watching Brief at Buckfast Abbey

Date Last Edited:Mar 7 2014 12:14PM