A journey through time

As you wander through Buckland Abbey, you will discover a wealth of fascinating tales, amazing architecture and over eight centuries of history.

More about Buckland

Beginning life as a tranquil monastery with a productive estate, Buckland has been redeveloped, restored and adapted, passing through the hands of famous seafarers and facing a devastating fire. There's no better place to venture on a voyage of discovery.

Walking through the Elizabethan Gardens
Three people walking up the steps with the abbey behind them
Walking through the Elizabethan Gardens

Buckland's Monastic history

Founded in 1278, Buckland Abbey was the last of the Cistercian monasteries to be built in medieval England and Wales. For over 250 years, the monks who farmed the vast estate lived in the peaceful solitude of the Tavy valley. The Dissolution of the Monasteries saw Buckland sold to Sir Roger Grenville, who began to modify the abbey into a house and home, and later it was sold again to privateer Sir Francis Drake, the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe.

Original monastic masonry
Original monastic masonry on the ground
Original monastic masonry

Want to discover more? Guide books are available in the shop and at the entrance door.

A visit to the house

You'll walk in the footsteps of monks, sailors and servants as you journey through rooms from a panelled Tudor chamber to a cosy Georgian dining room. Imagine yourself cooking in the kitchen? Or marvel at the original tiled floor in the great hall.

Buckland's Great Hall
Bucklands Great Hall with tiled floor and Tudor table in the middle infront of the fireplace and tudor plaster ceiling
Buckland's Great Hall

Don't miss the Rembrandt self portrait which is in the Georgian Dining Room.

The great barn

The impressive great barn, a mark of the monks' wealth and influence, was used for the storage and winnowing of corn.

Today it is home to a cider press, a reminder of the 27 acres of orchards that once stretched down to the river. 

The great barn at Buckland Abbey
The magnificent great barn at Buckland
The great barn at Buckland Abbey