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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 Bell Ringing Festival - 11th August 2018

The bells in the Buckfast Abbey Tower were given by Sir Robert Harvey. Emma Oxford, one of his relatives was present for the festival. In the photographs she is seen in the tower and in the Abbey Library where there is a bronze bust of Sir Robert. There are 15 bells in the tower with a full peal of 12 bells, 2 semitones and a Bourden bell. The Bourden bell is 7 and a half tonnes. During the ringing there was a live feed from both the ringing chamber and the bell chamber so that visitors did not have to climb the 192 steps to see the action!

Buckfast Food Festival - 21st July 2018

Summer Food Fair. Live cookery demonstrations with John Hughes, Ethan Clarke, David Beazley, Jim Fisher from Exeter Cookery School, Richard Hunt and with Fun Kitchen cookery workshops for children!

Plymouth Catholic Senior Schools Visit - 18th July 2018

Students from the Plymouth Catholic Senior Schools were entertained by 4Front Theatre Group with a presentation of the Fisherman's Tail. On the Sea of Galilee, Local fishermen Simon, Andrew, James & John tell a tale to beat them all, it involves a fishing competition, wherein a strange man appears .... The students also had an opportunity to explore the new interactive Monastic Way that offers an understanding of the monastic way of life.

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 ...

'Come and Sing' Charity Choral Concert

Great music from great oratorios, including works by Handel, Mozart, Haydn and others. Stanborough Chorus Christopher Fletcher: Conductor

Organ Recital (Summer series) Part 1

Organ Recital (Summer series) Includes music by Gigout, Bach, Widor and Schumann.

Feast of the Dedication of the Abbey

Community celebration of Mass for parish, staff and Oblates followed by buffet lunch. Abbot President of the English Benedictine Congregation will preside at the Mass.