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Title:On the Date of Foundation Ascribed to the Cistertian Abbeys in Great Britain
Originator:Birch, W de G.
Summary:The West Wing, originally the nave of the church, has been restored since the fire of June 1938. The wing now consists of three big rooms, one above the other. To be noted is the south arch beneath the central tower with well moulded capitals and bases to the cylindrical shafts of the piers. Attached to the capitals of the arch on the south sides are the springers of the original south transept roof. The arch is now filled with a stone wall with modern windows of 16th century type. The head of the west arch has been reinforced with a massive concrete soffit moulding of square section. In the head of the north tower is the Drake Fireplace in the Tower Room. In the bell room over this last are traces, east and west, of narrow passages through the walls to admit to the roofs. The curious wavy parapet of the tower originally had a ball on each merlon. The fine hall beneath the tower escaped damage. The fireplace, dated 1576, has a fireback dated 1671. To the NE a rectangular chapel or oratory contains the remains of a sedilia with traces of lierne-vaulted canopies and intermediate shafts of beerstone, three aumbries, two altars, and some old tiles brought from soissons. Some pieces of worked stone and a keeled mortar of Roborough Downelvan have been adapted as a pillar stoup. The ante-room to the so-called Lady Chapel, in which are preserved some bones exhumed from beneath the nave floor in 1938, has an interesting vaulted roof springing from angle shafts with carved bases and capitals SE. The south transept seems to have been an eastern aisle, as it still retains traces of an east arcade of two bays. The panelling of the drawing room has been re-erected. Here and in the dining room are two four-centred fireplaces with the grenville charge in the spandrels. There are also four small fireplaces brought from Nutwell Court and made of gunmetal derived from Gibraltar guns. Notable features: the head of a fine old east window now in the Tower Room, where it rests on a 17th century wooden door-frame; three heraldic shields on the north porch among whose charges may be detected the Red Hand of Ulster; the noble Tithe Barn with its threshing floor; an octagonal quern in the grounds, its orifice surrounded by a human mask. Remains of Cistercian Abbey. Birch records evidence for Cistercian Foundation of abbey in 1278.

Associated Monuments (3)

MDV7808Buckfast Abbey (Building)
MDV5451Buckland Abbey (Monument)
MDV1890Dunkeswell Abbey (Monument)