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Historic List of Abbots

Buckfast was first established as a Monastic Settlement in A.D. 1018

Benedictine Abbots:

Alwin (Aelwinus) first mentioned as having attended Shire-mote in Exeter in about 1040. Known from the Doomsday Book to have been Abbot in 1066.
Eustace first mentioned in 1143 in a Totnes Deed. He was Abbot when Buckfast was affiliated to the Abbey of Citeaux (Cistercian).


Cistercian Abbots:

Buckfast still followed the Rule of St. Benedict, as the Cistercians also live by that Rule.

William - acted as Papal Legate in 1190.
Nicholas - elected in 1205.
Michael - mentioned in the Cartulary of Buckfast Abbey (C.B.A.) in 1223.
Peter (I) - mentioned in the C.B.A. 1242.
William (II) - mentioned in the C.B.A. 1249.
Howell - mentioned in the Leger Book (L.B.) of Buckfast (Brit. Mus.) - no dates.
Henry - mentioned in C.B.A. 1264 and 1269.
Simon - mentioned in C.B.A. and Petre Archives (P.A.) between 1273 and 1280.
Robert - mentioned in L.B. and Exeter Episcopal Registers (Ep. Reg.) between 1280 and 1283.
Peter de Colepitte - mentioned in the P.A. between 1291 and 1313
Robert II - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1316.
William Atte Slade - mentioned in the Banco Rolls 1327.
Stephen I - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1328.
John of Churchstowe - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1332.
William Gifford - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1333.
Stephen of Cornwall - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1348.
Philip (Beaumont) - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1349.
Robert Symons - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. and P.A. between 1355 and 1390.
William Paderstow - mentioned in the Ep. Reg and P.A. 1395.
William Slade - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. and by Leland - "Com. de Scriptoribus Britanniae" and Boase - "Annals of Exeter College, Oxford" between 1401 and 1415.
William Beaghe - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. and P.A. between 1415 and 1432.
Thomas Roger - mentioned in Ep. Reg. and P.A. He was Prior Adminstrator c. 1422 - 1432, and blessed as Abbot in 1432.
John Ffytchett - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1440.
John Matthu (Matthew) - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1449.
John King - mentioned in the Statuta Cap. Gen. Ord. Cist. from 1464 to 1498.
John Rede (I) - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1498.
John Bleworthy - mentioned in 1505 - Cal. of Early Chancery Proceedings, also in Powderham MSS.
Alfred Gyll - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1512.
John Rede (II) - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1525.
There is no record of death or resignation from his office.
Gabriel Dunne (or Doone) - imposed on the Community in 1535 by Thomas Cromwell (State papers).He surrendered the Abbey to the King on 25th February, 1539.


Monastic Life restored at Buckfast in 1882.

Thomas Duperou - Superior, 1882 until 1884 (becomes Abbot of Sacred Heart, USA)
Leander Lemoine -Superior 1884 until 1885
Benedict Gariador - Prior, August 1885, until February 1899
Leander Lemoine - Superior, March 1899
Ignatius Jean - Superior, April 1899, until March 1900 (not a Monk of Buckfast)
Leander Lemoine - Superior, March 1900, until July 1902 (was also Abbot Visitor)
Savinian Louismet - Superior, July 1902, until November 1902


Benedictine Abbots:

Boniface Natter - elected 19th November, 1902. Died 4th August, 1906.
Anscar Vonier - elected 14th September, 1906. Died 26th December, 1938.
Bruno Fehrenbacher - elected 10th January, 1939. Resigned 1956. Titular Abbot of Tavistock until his death on 18th July, 1965.
Placid Hooper - elected 5th January 1957. Ruling Abbot until 1976.Titular Abbot of Tavistock until his death on 11th December, 1995
Leo Smith - elected 30th January, 1976. Ruling Abbot until 1992. Titular Abbot of Colchester until his death on 10th July, 1998
David Charlesworth - elected 3rd January, 1992. Ruling Abbot until 1999. Titular Abbot of Malmesbury.
Sebastian Wolff - appointed Prior Administrator in January 2000
Philip Manahan - elected Abbot 10th December, 2003. Resigned 2006
Richard Yeo - appointed Abbot Administrator February 2007 until January 2009
David Charlesworth - re-elected 27th January, 2009


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Buckfast Abbey Millennium Garden - May 2017

The Royal Horticultural Society 2017 - Malvern Spring Festival The garden setting is a tranquil scene. At the heart of the garden is a stag in a glade of silver birches drinking from a pool. Around this scene is a meandering path suggesting a river bed. The motto of the Abbey is taken from psalm 41/42: “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for you, O God.” The name Buckfast means ‘land of the deer’ and the Abbey is on the banks of the River Dart. The garden commemorates Buckfast Abbey’s upcoming millennium. The Buckfast Garden won thr RHS Show Garden SILVER MEDAL and also the BEST IN SHOW from the public vote.

CWL Annual Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Buckfast - 13th May 2017

Catholic Women's League Pilgrimage 2017. The Bishop of Plymouth, the Rt. Rev. Mark O'Toole celebrated the Mass in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of the Abbey Church.

Arrival of the new Ruffatti Organ - 26th April 2017

The new organ for the Abbey Church arrived at the end of April. Construction will continue for some months. Information about the new organ can be found at the Abbey Website on the Music page at: https://www.buckfast.org.uk/ruffattiorgan

Mary: Icon of the Church

Mary – Icon of the Church
The Role of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The doctrine of the Trinity contains within it the reason for the uniqueness of humanity’s relationship with God – Jesus, being true God and true man unites divinity ...

Kindness: a School Mass

Kindness – a School Mass

Jesus says that we must love others as he loves us. We must think about what he might mean by this. In the first place we know that he showed his love by allowing ...

Baptism of Teddy

Baptism of Teddy

Living as a Christian means wanting to be a complete human being. We easily think of the Christian claim that Jesus is God, but we should also think that Jesus is a human being in the fullest ...

Trees and Shrubs with the Garden Department

A walk and Talk with the Abbey's head gardener looking at the many varieties of tree and shrubs we grow in the Abbey grounds.

Plymouth Diocese Silent Retreat - May Weekend

Friday 26th to Sunday 28th of May - £140

George Malcolm Memorial Series - at The Grange Restaurant 27th May

George Malcolm Memorial Series at the Grange Restaurant. 19:30 Saturday 27th May 2017 Pre-concert dinner available at the Grange Restaurant at 18:00