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On Recent Excavations at Buckfast Abbey

Trans. Devon. Assoc., 1884, Vol XVI, pp. 590-594, Plan.

by

J. Brooking Rowe. F.S.A. F.L.S. etc.

Prepared by Michael Steer

The original monastery at Buckfast was founded during the reign of King Cnut in 1018. The first Abbey was Benedictine. In comparison with the fifty or so other abbeys in 11th century England, Buckfast was small and unprosperous. The rule of life the monks followed was the "Regularis Concordia", drawn up at Winchester in about 970 for all Benedictine monasteries in England as part of re-establishing monastic life. It is not known exactly where the Saxon monastery stood. During the excavations of the 14th century Guest Hall, a fragment of stone was discovered that might originally have been part of the Saxon church, but no other evidence of the Saxon monastery has been found to date. Buckfast became a Cistercian abbey in 1147. There was an immediate and fundamental transformation. The whole monastery was rebuilt in stone, in the Cistercian pattern. When monks returned to Buckfast in 1882, they were able to uncover almost all of the original foundations dating back to this period, and rebuild the Abbey in the architectural style of the mid-twelfth century - effectively restoring the original Cistercian abbey. The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

 

  Page
Beagle, Abbot 593
Benedict, Saint 590
Berry, Mr 591
Buck 590
Hamilton, Fr 591, 593-4
John XXII, Pope 593
Laskey 590
Mivart, Mr St George 590
Muard, Fr Jean Baptist 590
Norfolk, Duke of 594
Sharpe, Mr 593
Slade, Abbot 593
Walters, Mr Frederick A 591-2, 594