A Topographical Dictionary of England
Samuel Lewis (1831)
Transcript copyright Mel Lockie (Sep 2016)
BUCKLAND-MONACHORUM, a parish (formerly a market-town) in the hundred of ROBOROUGH, county of DEVON, 4 miles (S. by E.) from Tavistock, containing 1177 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Totness, and diocese of Exeter, rated in the king's books at £19. 8. 9., and in the patronage of the Rev. A. Crymes. The church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, stands in a cemetery planted with trees, and consists of a nave, two side aisles, two small transepts, with a fine tower supporting four octagonal turrets, embattled, and surmounted by pinnacles: within, among several others, is a noble monument, by Bacon, to the memory of Baron Heathfield, the brave defender of Gibraltar. The village, which contains some curious old houses, a mutilated stone cross, and a few ancient inscriptions, is mean in appearance, but picturesquely situated. It acquired its distinguishing name from an abbey founded, in 1278, by Amicia, Countess Dowager of Devonshire, in honour of the Virgin Mary and St. Benedict, to which she removed a society of Cistercian monks from the Isle of Wight. In 1337, the abbot obtained permission to castellate his monastery; and during the parliamentary war it was garrisoned by Sir Richard Grenville. The revenue of the society, in the 26th of Henry VIII., was estimated at £241. 17. 9.: the estate came by purchase into the possession of Sir Francis Drake, and a modern mansion, beautifully situated on the banks of the Tavy, has been erected on it; but there are still some interesting remains of the abbey. The market has been discontinued; but a fair is still held on Trinity-Monday. The Plymouth railway crosses the parish on the east. Lady Modyford, in 1702, gave two messuages, out of the rental of which, £7. 10. a year is paid for the instruction of six boys; and the interest of £100, given by Matthew Elford, in 1723, is applied in clothing four boys.