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Buckland Monachorum

Buckland Monachorum is located within West Devon local authority area. Historically it formed part of Roborough Hundred. It falls within Tavistock Deanery for ecclesiastical purposes. The Deaneries are used to arrange the typescript Church Notes of B.F.Cresswell which are held in the Westcountry Studies Library. The population was 918 in 1801 1717 in 1901 . Figures for other years are available on the local studies website. The lay subsidy of 1524 valued the community at £12/01/02. In 1641/2 290 adult males signed the Protestation returns. A market is recorded from 14 cent..

A parish history file is held in Tavistock Library. You can look for other material on the community by using the place search on the main local studies database. Further historical information is also available on the Genuki website.

Buckland Monochorum area on Donn's map of 1765 (sx46don)

Maps: The image is of the Buckland Monachorum area on Donn's one inch to the mile survey of 1765.

On the County Series Ordnance Survey mapping the area is to be found on 1:2,500 sheet 111/8 Six inch (1:10560) sheet 111NE
The National Grid reference for the centre of the area is SX490683. On the post 1945 National Grid Ordnance Survey mapping the sheets are: 1:10,000 (six inch to a mile: sheet SX46NE, 1:25,000 mapping: sheet Explorer 108, Landranger (1:50,000) mapping: sheet 201. Geological sheet 338 also covers the area.

Illustrations: The image below is of Buckland Monachorum as included in the Library's illustrations collection. Other images can be searched for on the local studies catalogue.

South view of Buckland Abbey, Devonshire (SC0294)

A fair is known from: 14 cent.. Extrct from The glove is up! Devon's historic fairs, by Tricia Gerrish, by kind permission of the author.


LOCATION:   Off A386, near Yelverton  S.W. Devon.

ORIGINAL CHARTER: c. 1317  Edward II to Buckland Abbey.  Nativity of  St John Baptist (24th June). 3 day fair.

The monks of Buckland were responsible for Buckland Monachorum's charter in 1317.  It was originally for a three day fair around the feast of St John Baptist on 24th June. Lysons lists a cattle fair on Trinity Monday for three days: which is confirmed as the date on which fairs resumed during the 18th century at Buckland.  The last cattle fair was recorded c.1867, although some of the stallholders continued to visit at Trinity until 1883.

Fairs were held on the Green, opposite the church gates, by a village cross.  Cattle extended through the village from Netherton to Bradford Cottages.  At the same time, stalls and cheap jacks filled the rest of the village.  Wrestling and boxing, skittles and sports took place, with prizes of money and goods.  One particular race always drew a huge entry; the prize was a gown and for several years heats had to be held due to its attraction for local women.

The last known trader for Buckland's Trinity fair was an old lady called Miles, who continued to bring her sweet stall there from Plymouth until 1883.

Extract from Devon by W.G.Hoskins (1954), included by kind permission of the copyright holder:

BUCKLAND MONACHORUM occupies the undulating country between the Tavy, Walkham, and Meavy rivers, all of them exceedingly attractive. The meeting of Tavy and Walkham at Double Waters is excitingly beautiful even in this district of superb scenery. Buckland village contains much interesting old building from late medieval times onwards,and much modern unpleasing stuff also. Lady Modyford's School in the village square was built in 1702. Netherton Cottage, at the N. end of the village, is an attractive little 17th century house.

The church (St. Andrew) is the best in the district, a complete 15th early 16th century rebuilding, with a loft\}: and fine interior. There are Drake monuments, and one by John Bacon to George Augustus Eliott who defended Gibraltar against the Spaniards 1779- 83 and was created Baron Heathfield of Gibraltar in 1787. The early Norman font, now kept at the back of the church;' was recovered from the foundations of the church in 1857.

One m. S. of the church is Buckland Abbey, founded in 1278 as a Cistercian house by Amicia, Countess of Devon, and colonised from Quarr Abbey (I.O.W.) which had been founded by Baldwin, 2nd Earl of Devon. At the Dissolution the site of the abbey with its demesne lands was sold to Sir Richard Grenville (1541) who probably demolished a considerable part of the conventual buildings. His grandson, the famous Sir Richard Grenville of the Revenge, sold the property, through intermediaries, to Sir Francis Drake in 1581, who made it his principal residence whenever he was in England. Grenville altered the house in 1576 and added the fine plaster ceiling to the hall. Either he or his predecessors converted the abbey church into a mansion, a very unusual (though not unique) arrangement, as might be imagined from the work involved. Drake's arms appear in plaster in an upper room. The house is now National Trust property and is leased to the Plymouth Corporation as a naval and Devon museum, with Drake relics. There are fairly extensive remains of other monastic buildings including the refectory and a magnificent tithe barn.

There are some picturesque old farmhouses in the parish, including Coppicetown (16th.century) and Crapstone Barton (17th century). Bickham is a derelict 18th century mansion in a park.