Torre Abbey, Torquay. Hand Picked Abbeys and Priories in Devon, England
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Abbeys and Priories in Torquay, Devon

Torre Abbey, Torquay

Torre Abbey

The King's Drive
Tel: +44(0)1803 293 593
Email: click here
Torre Abbey online: information and bookings

Museum – Historic House – Art Gallery – Garden – Brass-rubbing Centre - Cafe

Step through the ancient doors of Torre Abbey and uncover the story of the southwest’s most fascinating restoration project. Explore the ancient undercrofts of the Abbey, built in 1196 for the “White Canons”, named for their distinctive white habits.

During a massive three-year restoration project some stunning finds have been unearthed including a 14th Century slate grave slab, featuring a tree-of-life carving in near perfect condition. The slab was excavated from under the cloister walk and would have covered the grave of one of the Abbey's Canons.

The brothers who lived here 800 years ago, when Torquay was just a tiny fishing hamlet, followed a strict regime of silence and prayer. Their austere lives were in contrast to their great wealth, gained from taxes or ‘tithes’ of grain and other produce from the Abbey’s vast lands. The Tithe Barn, built to store the grain, became known as the Spanish Barn after it served as a prison for 400 sailors captured from the Spanish Armada.

Browse through the later rooms of the Abbey, added by the Cary family who lived there for over 300 years. These now feature an impressive art collection, one of the largest in Devon. The collection includes 19th Century art, an impressive maritime gallery and many sculptures and artefacts from the studio of Victorian sculptor, Frederick Thrupp. The Galleries also feature visiting exhibitions, contemporary works and a calendar of live arts events. A new brass-rubbing centre includes over 50 brasses depicting period scenes and personalities. Short guided tours are available daily.

Throughout the ages Torre Abbey has welcomed many thousands of visitors: weary travellers cared for by the canons, aristocrats and naval officers hosted by the Carys and Olympic hopefuls attending the 1947 sailing events in the bay. Visitors are now once again welcome to explore Torquay’s oldest and most fascinating building.

Torre Abbey, Torquay

With a wealth of exotic and exciting plants, Torre Abbey Gardens, nestles behind the main building of the Abbey.

Here you can walk through the ruins of the original church, discover 12th century architecture and tombs and contemplate life as a medieval monk . Or be enthralled by the rare and often strange shrubs and plants that we are able to grow in our mild English Riviera climate.

In Summer massed dahlia borders take centre stage along with the many herbaceous perennials, roses and herbs that make English gardens rightfully famous and delight the senses.

Weddings and Conferences
The grandeur and romance of this historic building can form a perfect backdrop for weddings, anniversaries and other private celebrations. The Abbey has a number of beautiful rooms and halls available for weddings and stunning backdrops for photographs. The Abbey is licensed for formal marriage ceremonies and blessings can be held in the Cary family chapel.

The Spanish Barn is a stunning and atmospheric venue for larger weddings and can be dressed and prepared for both the ceremony and for the wedding breakfast. It is also often used for informal celebrations and lends itself to stylish period themes.

Additional Services
With more that 800 years of history, Torre Abbey offers school group the chance to enter some fascinating periods of local history, from the lives of the medieval Canons to the glamourous lifestyle of the many generations of the Cary family.

Period costumes, art discovery trails, history detectives, brass rubbing and excavations are just some of the activities on offer for school groups.

In case of alteration, please check prices, opening times and any specific important information before booking or visiting

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