Published titles > Architecture > Buckfast Abbey: History, Art and Architecture
Buckfast Abbey: History, Art and Architecture cover image
UK £60.00
US $90.00
Hardback with jacket
272 pages
275 illustrations
30 x 25 cm (11.75 x 9.75 in)
ISBN: 978-1-8589-4650-4
Buckfast Abbey: History, Art and Architecture

Edited by Peter Beacham

As Buckfast Abbey prepares to celebrate its millennium in 2018, this new book chronicles the remarkable history of this famous English abbey, today both home to a self-sufficient community of Benedictine monks and a site that welcomes some half a million visitors to south Devon each year.  The first monastery was founded in 1018 and absorbed into the Cistercian Order in 1147, but was dissolved during the Reformation. The site gradually fell into disrepair, and in the early 19th century a Gothic-style mansion was built on the abbey ruins. A group of exiled French Benedictine monks settled at Buckfast in 1882 and eventually decided to rebuild the medieval abbey church themselves: the foundation stone was laid in 1907, and consecration took place in 1932. In this elegant, authoritative book, chapters by 11 distinguished historians explore, among other subjects, the history of the abbey from its Saxon origins to the Dissolution; the architecture of the medieval church, monastery and inner and outer courts; the abbey site without the monks, when it became a famed example of picturesque antiquity; the Benedictine revival; the rebuilding of the abbey under the architect F.A. Walters; the abbey’s exceptional assemblage of sacred silver and other metalwork; the art and architecture of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, completed in 1966; and the development of the modern precinct. Generously illustrated throughout with not only plans, drawings and photographs gathered from the vast Buckfast archive but also new images of the abbey church, the plethora of other buildings on site and the meticulously tended grounds, Buckfast Abbey is a fitting tribute to a unique monastery and community.


A beautiful book celebrating the history, art and architecture of Buckfast, the only English medieval monastery to have been restored and used again for its original purpose

Includes contributions from 11 leading medieval, architectural and art historians, presenting a wealth of new research on the abbey

Features specially commissioned photography, as well as a wide range of archival imagery 

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Author Profile

Peter Beacham is an Anglican priest who was formerly Heritage Protection Director for English Heritage. He is a member of the Architectural Panel of the National Trust and the author of several publications on southwest England, including the revised edition of Cornwall (2014) in the Pevsner Architectural Guides series.

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Tells the fascinating story of the rise, fall and eventual resurrection of Devon's famous abbey. Featuring authoritative research

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Table of Contents:



The History of the Abbey, 1018-1539, by Nicholas Orme

The Architecture of the Medieval Cistercian Church and Cloister, by David Robinson

The Medieval Inner and Outer Courts, by Stewart Brown

The Tiles of the Abbey, by John Cherry

The Seals of the Abbey, by John Cherry

Picturesque Antiquity: The Abbey Site without the Monks, by Bridget Cherry

The Benedictine Revival: Roots and Branches. Buckfast and the Monastic World, 1815-2018, by Dom Aidan Bellenger

F.A. Walters FSA, Archaeologist and Architect, and the Recreation of the Monastic Past, by Rodercick O'Donnell

The Sacred Silver and Other Metalwork, by Marian Campbell

Buckfast School, by Alan Powers

St Anthony's: Self-Sufficiency in the Twentieth-Century Abbey, by Stewart Brown

Modern Medievalism: Dom Charles Norris, Dalle de Verre and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, by Robert Proctor

The Making of the Precinct, by Peter Beacham