Saturday, May 18, 2019

Buckland Abbey

Today in Yelverton, Devon England, I'd like to share our visit to Buckland Abbey.  Let's all ride over the lovely countryside together and enjoy a most famous spot.

To me while in Britain, one of the most enjoyable sights is the ride to a destination.  High hedges and narrow roads usually add to the charm.  

The photos above are taken through the front window of our rental car.  Can you believe the beauty?  

Sheep are always happy to pose for a photo in front of the dry stacked stone walls.

Heavenly vistas follow us along our way to visit an abbey that was home to Cistercian monks in 1278. 

Walking into the entrance of Buckland Abbey we can see why this spot was chosen as a place to worship and farm. 

At the entrance please watch your step as it's quite steep.  We are checked in and are invited to watch a video of the change the Abbey has seen over the years.  During the Dissolution of the Monasteries, Henry VIII sold Buckland to Sir Richard Grenville in 1541.  We learn about the sea adventures of Sir Richard Grenville and Sir Francis Drake.  Drake bought the home in 1581 and lived here for fifteen years and thereafter so did many of his descendants until 1946.  They sold the property to Arthur Rood and in 1948 and he gave it to the National Trust. 

The Buckland Abbey barn is enormous and so pretty on the outside.

I adore the stone features here at Buckland!

The old farm implements are certainly from another era and I'm sure horse or human drawn.

Let's walk through the stone arch and look at the front of the Abbey.

The grounds are so peaceful full of bird song and a distinct quiet.

"The tower of the priory, with a monastic barn of extraordinary size, are in a forest, far distant from the haunts of men."  William Marshall 1796

I'm so glad that Buckland Abbey was not destroyed but sold.  The Abbey was later converted into a home.  Let's go inside and view the interior that features the lives of Sir Richard Grenville and Sir Francis Drake.

As always, the National Trust places flower arrangements about their properties.  Such a welcoming sight!

Buckland Abbey is an accredited museum in tandem with the Plymouth City Museum.  The drum above belonged to Sir Francis Drake.  It is said he took this drum as he circumnavigated the globe.  He wanted the drum to stay at Buckland Abbey when he died and if ever England was in trouble to beat the drum and he would return to defend his country!

The Golden Hind replica of Sir Francis Drake's ship. 

The home is part museum and parts furnished with family pieces.

The interior is full of its past glory when it served as an abbey. 

The plastered ceilings were lovely and a nod to the past. 

Carved paneling adorns many of the rooms in the abbey. 

This painting is considered a self portrait of Rembrandt.  The portrait was painted in 1635 after the artist settled in Amsterdam.

Elizabeth Sydenham, Lady Drake, later Lady Courtenay is in the portrait above.

The old sea chest above is a handsome example of items in the museum pertaining to Sir Frances Drake's adventures around the world.  This particular chest was used by fish mongers to store their fish in.  It appears to have a battle scene from 1588 on the top.

This plaster statue of Sir Francis Drake stays in the Lifetimes Gallery in Buckland.  It was made by Sir Joseph Boehm.  

The Golden Hind life sized replica shows how very brave Drake and his men were to travel the globe with very few instruments for navigation.

This portrait of Sir Frances Drake was created when he returned home from his famous circumnavigation of the globe.  He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I in 1581.  He was quite wealthy and purchased Buckland Abbey.  He became mayor of Plymouth and also was a MP (a member of parliament). 

He was even granted his own coat of arms.  "From small beginnings, great things."  

The Triptych shows in the left wing The Way of the Cross, in the center The Entombment of Christ, the right wing The Resurrection.   As one can see there is priceless artwork at Buckland Abbey.

I always love visiting the kitchen at these properties if we are allowed.

This enormous kitchen would certainly support important guests and family members.

As we exit the kitchen we notice the beautiful gardens that surround this lovely abbey.  

We walk among the many walled gardens and think about the many souls that have tended to this lovely spot, beginning with the Cistercian monks.

Being a Buckland Abbey thrilled us both.  I do hope you enjoyed our retreat there. 

Thursday, May 9, 2019


Today I'd like to share with you Killerton, located in Devon England.  As most of you know Grayden and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary visiting Scotland and England.  I am sharing our trip in the order we visited.  If you wish to view the past posts about this trip you are welcome.  It's all under the Great Britain label above. 

As you can see Killerton is under the care of the National Trust.  Killerton  was designed by John Johnson in the 18th century as a temporary home for Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, 7th Baronet and his family.  They were to live here before a much larger home could be built.  Over the years this dream of  a larger residence was not realized.  Killerton was added on to many times with the addition of electricity and heat in the 1890's.  When we visited it was being repaired as the roof leaks!

National Trust Photo

The above photo is what the home looks like without the scaffolding.  

The National Trust takes such good care of their properties and we are so amazed at the scale to which they do so!  They acquired this property in 1944 after the family left the estate of 6,400 acres of land, 250 cottages, and 18 farms!


We won't be walking all of this, so don't panic.  The grounds are lovely and full of beautiful gardens.  Please make sure you have your walking shoes on!

 It's such a beautiful day to have a stroll and look at the gardens.

The garden has a wonderful panoramic view of the Devon countryside!

I could stay all day in this lovely garden, but I bet you'd like to get something to eat before we go into the house.

There is plenty of room for everyone, so find a seat and order what you would like.  I recommend the chicken salad as it is delicious!  No photo as I was hungry, but did manage to record it in my journal.

We are invited into the first floor of the home.  The second story is closed to the tour because of the roof renovations.

This is the portrait of Sir Thomas Dyke Acland 10th Baronet.

As we wander from room to room we view the generations of collections of the Acland family. 

It's always a good idea to look up when we tour these old estates.

Lovely plastered ceilings in the music room show beautiful details. 

Killerton has beautiful woodwork throughout the first floor of the home.  Beautiful works of art dot the walls along with collections that have been in the Acland family for generations.  

The National Trust had this room displayed with some of the items from the second floor as it was closed during the roof repair.  

Next we visited the Laundry room that was used up until 1940.  They employed three full time girls to work there doing the wash and ironing.  One 14 year old girl remembers being paid 18 shillings a week when she was employed here.   Her family was glad to have the extra income. 

There are always two sides to every estate such as Killerton.  The Aclands were clearly members of the haves.  Sir Richard Acland decided in 1944 to give up his privilege to support his political beliefs.  The question we pondered as we toured the home was--"Would you give up your family home for your political beliefs?"