Take a look at Bucklands history

Buckland Abbey

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

Buckland's Medieval 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.

Drake's statue at Buckland Abbey
The Drake statue in the Long gallery at Buckland Abbey
Drake's statue at Buckland Abbey

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

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

How accessible is the house?

There are three main floors of the abbey which are all accessed by two main handrail staircases. There are places to sit between the floors if needed.

If you are in a wheelchair, the bottom floor is availble for viewing by entering the exit door of the abbey. We also offer an IPad with images of each of the upper rooms for you to borrow and our friendly room guides are always on hand to explain Bucklands past. 

Can school groups visit?

School parties are welcome to come and learn about Bucklands extraordinary history from its monastic past to it's swashbuckling advesntures with Francis Drake. 

We offer a school room for groups to use during their visit. This room is also availble for schools to use independantly for subjects like art, geography and mcuh more. 

We also offer GCSE history packages for secondary school groups.

For all information on school booksing, please call the office on: 01822 853607