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Buckfast Abbey

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Buckfast Abbey
Abbey Church


Structure in General

existing [completed]




  • An original Benedictine Buckfast monastery was founded in 1018 by King Cnut.
  • Buckfast is the only English mediaeval monastery to have been restored and once again used for its original purpose.
  • The abbey is now home to a Roman Catholic community of Benedictine monks.
  • The centre of the Sanctuary floor exhibits a green roundel made from stone taken from the same quarry which supplied the former Cathedral of St. Sophia in Istanbul.
  • Mosaic floors include the use of Purple Imperial Porphyry taken from part of a column which once stood in the Temple of Diana at Ephesus; this porphyry has never been quarried since the fall of the Roman Empire.
  • The exterior walls are built from local blue limestone whilst the coping stones, turrets, West Front, window arches and quoins are built from Ham Hill stone which was quarried in Somerset.
  • The design is Cistercian Transitional Norman in style with Anglo-Norman style rounded Romanesque arches and pointed Gothic windows.
  • The abbey was constructed by the monks themselves according to the design of the architects.
  • The current abbey conforms to the exact Cistercian ground plan as the original, essentially being cruciform in shape.
  • The tower received its final stone on July 24, 1937 though it was not until December of 1938 that the pointing was completed and the scaffolding dismantled.
  • The church was consecrated on August 25, 1932.
  • The Abbey Church's foundation stone was laid on January 5, 1907.
  • The abbey was closed as a result of the Dissolution of the Monasteries on February 25, 1539; artefacts were confiscated and the abbey fell into a state of ruin.
  • The monastery was rebuilt as a Cistercian abbey starting in the 12th century.
  • The tower is 158ft (47.88m) in height and is the tallest church tower in Devon.

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Buckfast Abbey
United Kingdom

Technical Data

158.04 ft
158.04 ft

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