The afternoon sun in late winter falls across one of the gardens at Buckland Abbey

The afternoon sun in late winter falls across the Elisabethan Garden at Buckland Abbey

‘700-year-old home of Elizabethan seafarers Drake and Grenville

In the 13th century, Buckland Abbey was home to the Cistercian monks who built the abbey and the incredible Great Barn and farmed the then vast estate.

The Abbey, now a house with a combination of furnished rooms and interactive museum galleries, tells the story of how two seafaring adventurers – Sir Richard Grenville and Sir Francis Drake – changed the shape of the house and the fate of the country….

Our Abbey garden is mainly a 1950s design. The main border includes hydrangeas, camellias, eucryphias, azaleas, rhododendrons and our two magnificent magnolia trees: a delavayi species and a grandiflora.

The monks cultivated the walled kitchen garden behind our Cider House and it’s still as prolific as ever. Meander through the espaliered fruit trees and vegetables and admire the Abbey towering above.

Our beloved herb garden next to the Great Barn has had a tough time. It was once home to 50 different culinary and medicinal herbs but box blight wiped it out. We’re currently refurbishing it.

In 2001 we purchased the Cider House, which was turned into a private residence in the 1940s. This acquisition has brought the monastic estate back together and has allowed us to invite the public to visit the beautiful gardens, passionately created by former owners Michael and Sarah Stone. It includes mixed planted borders, roses and a large amount of trees and shrubs

We created our Elizabethan garden in 2001. It shows you what the garden may have been like when Sir Richard Grenville and Sir Francis Drake lived in the Abbey. There’s a wild flowery mead, cultivated hedges, changing flower displays and even a hidden garden just perfect for contemplating your next voyage, just like Drake.’

Source and further information:

The gardens at Buckland Abbey, Devon – National Trust web site

Old School Gardener