History of Tavistock Abbey by Johnnie Strickland

Tavistock Abbey 
 
The remains visible today of this once magnificent monastery. A massively important seat of power, with lands spread over several counties, as far away as the Isles of Scilly
 
For simplicity, and to allow the remains to be viewed in a fairly logical sequence, I have begun at Court Gate in the heart of Tavistock and have walked round in a clockwise direction, ending in Bedford Square again. I have also put a compilation of photographs of miscellaneous remains dotted around Tavistock - this time in alphabetical order. Lastly, there is a time line of Tavistock Abbey.

For all the remains that can be traced today, some essential parts of the Abbey are lost forever. The Abbey Church, measuring 126 paces by 21 paces, with a nave 60 paces by 14. An associated Lady Chapel that held 36 people. As a scale, the remaining St Eustacius Church is 90 paces by 26 paces. Abbey Church stood in the edge of the present churchyard, as well as under the road of Bedford Square.

The Chapter House, now to be found under the traffic island at the end of Plymouth Road, by the Bedford Hotel, was an impressive structure. Described as a 'pile of great beauty, built so round as can possibly be marked with a compass, yet withal of large dimensions, there being on the inside thereof six and thirty seats wrought out in the walls arched overhead with curious hewn and carved stones'

What became of the printing press, one of the earliest recorded in England? We will probably never know. What is known, however, is that there is a great deal still to be seen, despite the fact that most people pass through or walk about Tavistock without realising the scale and importance of the monastic cell that once stood here.

For me, this is far away the most researched, most exhaustive and possibly the most enjoyable blog to date. It's quite a bit of reading and lots of photographs but, I would imagine, is one of the most comprehensive accounts of the surviving remains of its once magnificent abbey to be found anywhere.
 
Extract taken with permission from Johnnie Stricklands Blog.

For the full script, click on the link below. Written in 2014.