Tavistock Abbey

Once the largest and wealthiest abbeys in Southwest England, most of Tavistock Abbey now lies in an L-shaped ruin. Tavistock Abbey was founded in 947 A.D. by Benedictine monks and built in a tranquil spot by the River Tavy. All was peaceful till 997 A.D. when Tavistock Abbey was raided and burnt by raiding Vikings. Soon rebuilt, Tavistock Abbey continued a peaceful and prosperous existence for over 550 years before it was put to rest with Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Although most of Tavistock Abbey now lies in ruins, some of the buildings surrounding it have survived. The archway between Guildford Square and Bedford Square was once the main entrance to Tavistock Abbey's, Great Courtyard. It now serves as an antique shop. Tavistock Abbey's refectory has survived as the Abbey Chapel and Christian services are still held here. However, most of what you see here dates from the 15th century with some parts having survived from the 12th century. Nearby lies Betsy Grimbal's Tower, once part of Tavistock's western gate, it also served as the Abbot's lodging. It is said that Betsy Grimbal was murdered in a fit of jealousy by a monk.

Address: nr Bedford Square
Postcode: PL19 OAE
Town/city or near: Tavistock
County: Devon
Free Entry

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