Buckfast Abbey

Now tell someone that you are taking two teenage boys to an abbey on a Saturday afternoon and they will either suggest you make an appointment with a doctor or laugh out loud and think you are joking. Well this is something I did, firstly its a Dartmoor 365 square, so it needed visiting and secondly it has a café and the thought of cake always appeases them a bit! I’d been to Buckfast Abbey before but without heading inside properly, this I figured would be a chance to wander the garden a bit, then heading inside the Abbey, then the café. Probably an hour at most. It turned out to be a 90 minute visit, mainly because the boys were transfixed by the architecture inside, the choir practice which was happening and the guide who showed us one of the staircases and how the white Bath stone was used like a decorative tile to cover up the thicker grey stone underneath. All in all a fascinating visit to a gorgeous building enjoyed by all 3 of us.

Buckfast Abbey, the weather was grey but not raining. The Benedictine monks quarters are off to the right here I think
We had a quick walk around the formal gardens first, there are more gardens behind this by the river which are open to guests staying at the Abbey
Choir practice in the Abbey, it was a lovely sound and we were transfixed. Behind us the guide showed us a staircase behind a locked door were the grey building stone was partly covered by the Bath stone
All around the architecture was superb with the white Bath stone standing out from the painted ceilings
The altar
The quiet chapel at the back of the Abbey
Lighting a candle or two, their grandad was in hospital having had a triple heart bypass so this was on their minds
My youngest chose a sponge cake with just cream in it, so bought an extra pot of jam and smothered it!!
Normal chocolate cake for my eldest. We enjoyed the café as much as the Abbey itself. If you are in the area its a lovely spot, on the edge of the moor so well worth a visit for an hour or so, before heading up to see the tors

A complete surprise of a day, both for the reaction of the boys and how something so simple made for a great visit. One to keep in mind for the future.

9 thoughts on “Buckfast Abbey

  1. The refectory also serves amazing lunches although possibly not at the moment because of Covid – large portions and very good value! Before we lived in Devon, we always made certain when we journeyed down to arrive at Buckfast in time for lunch – and then we knew our holiday had really started. The monastic produce shop is worth a look – they sell produce including marmalade, jam etc. from many monasteries. Not long before Covid started, I remember visiting (this was after we had moved to Devon) and there was a fairly new, remarkably interesting and well presented exhibition about monastic life in the past and present – you don’t mention it so I wonder whether that has unfortunately become a casualty of Covid. Definitely agree with your assessment!

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