Buckfast Abbey

related topics
{church, century, christian}
{build, building, house}
{food, make, wine}
{land, century, early}
{specie, animal, plant}
{law, state, case}
{son, year, death}
{school, student, university}
{water, park, boat}

Buckfast Abbey forms part of an active Benedictine monastery at Buckfastleigh, Devon, England. Dedicated to Saint Mary, it was founded in 1018 and run by the Cistercian order from 1147 until it was destroyed under the Dissolution of the Monasteries. In 1882 monks began living there again, and today it is a Benedictine foundation.



Buckfast Abbey was founded by Earl Aylward in the reign of King Cnut in 1018. In 1147 it became a Cistercian abbey and was rebuilt in stone. In medieval times, the abbey became rich through fishing and trading in sheep wool, although the Black Death killed two abbots and many monks — by 1377 there were only fourteen monks at Buckfast.

On 25 February 1539, William Petre arrived at Buckfast and declared the abbey to be dissolved by order of King Henry VIII. The monks were compelled to leave and the buildings were looted and destroyed. The abbey then stood in ruins for over two hundred years.

On 28 October 1882, six Benedictine monks arrived at Buckfast having been exiled from France. The land had been leased by monks from the St. Augustine's Priory in Ramsgate and it was later bought for £4,700. The first new abbot was Boniface Natter, who died in a shipwreck in 1906. His travelling companion Anscar Vonier became the next abbot and pledged to fulfil his dying wish, namely to rebuild the abbey.

The Abbots of Buckfast Abbey

  • Alwin (Aelwinus) first mentioned as having attended Shire-mote in Exeter in about 1040. Known from the Doomsday Book to have been Abbot in 1066.
  • Eustace first mentioned in 1143 in a Totnes Deed. He was Abbot when Buckfast was affiliated to the Abbey of Citeaux (Cistercian).
  • Buckfast still followed the Rule of St. Benedict, as the Cistercians also live by that Rule.
  • William acted as Papal Legate in 1190.
  • Nicholas elected in 1205.
  • Michael mentioned in the Cartulary of Buckfast Abbey (C.B.A.) in 1223.
  • Peter (I) mentioned in the C.B.A. 1242.
  • William (II) mentioned in the C.B.A. 1249.
  • Howell mentioned in the Leger Book (L.B.) of Buckfast (Brit. Mus.) - no dates.
  • Henry mentioned in C.B.A. 1264 and 1269.
  • Simon mentioned in C.B.A. and Petre Archives (P.A.) between 1273 and 1280.
  • Robert mentioned in L.B. and Exeter Episcopal Registers (Ep. Reg.) between 1280 and 1283.
  • Peter de Colepitte mentioned in the P.A. between 1291 and 1313
  • Robert II mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1316.
  • William Atte Slade mentioned in the Banco Rolls 1327.
  • Stephen I mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1328.
  • John of Churchstowe mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1332.
  • William Gifford mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1333.
  • Stephen of Cornwall mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1348.
  • Philip (Beaumont) mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1349.
  • Robert Symons mentioned in the Ep. Reg. and P.A. between 1355 and 1390.
  • William Paderstow mentioned in the Ep. Reg and P.A. 1395.
  • William Slade mentioned in the Ep. Reg. and by Leland - "Com. de Scriptoribus Britanniae" and Boase - "Annals of Exeter College, Oxford" between 1401 and 1415.
  • William Beaghe mentioned in the Ep. Reg. and P.A. between 1415 and 1432.
  • Thomas Roger mentioned in Ep. Reg. and P.A. He was Prior Administrator c. 1422 - 1432, and blessed as Abbot in 1432.
  • John Ffytchett mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1440.
  • John Matthu (Matthew) mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1449.
  • John King mentioned in the Statuta Cap. Gen. Ord. Cist. from 1464 to 1498.
  • John Rede (I) mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1498.
  • John Bleworthy mentioned in 1505 - Cal. of Early Chancery Proceedings, also in Powderham MSS.
  • Alfred Gyll mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1512.
  • John Rede (II) mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1525. There is no record of death or resignation from his office.
  • Gabriel Dunne (or Doone) imposed on the Community in 1535 by Thomas Cromwell (State papers).He surrendered the Abbey to the King on 25th February, 1539.
  • Monastic Life restored at Buckfast in 1882.
  • Thomas Duperou - Superior, 1882 till 1884 (becomes Abbot of Sacred Heart, USA)
  • Leander Lemoine -Superior 1884 till 1885
  • Benedict Gariador - Prior, August 1885, till February 1899
  • Leander Lemoine - Superior, March 1899
  • Ignatius Jean - Superior, April 1899, till March 1900 (not a Monk of Buckfast)
  • Leander Lemoine - Superior, March 1900, till July 1902 (was also Abbot Visitor)
  • Savinian Louismet - Superior, July 1902, till November 1902

Full article ▸

related documents
Holyrood Abbey
Middleham Castle
Astley Hall
Roche Abbey
List of abbeys and priories in Northern Ireland
Cartmel Priory
Château de Chambord
Het Loo
Kimbolton Castle
Doge's Palace
Les Invalides
Pope Clement XI
Pope Stephen I
First Council of the Lateran
Hippo Regius
Pope Leo II
Pope Sylvester I
John Climacus
Third Council of Constantinople
Second Council of Constantinople
Fourth Council of Constantinople (Eastern Orthodox)
Western Christianity
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Second Council of the Lateran