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Buckfast Abbey Retreat Centre

The monks have developed the Southgate retreat as an extension of the monastic guest quarters, enabling women and couples to stay at Buckfast Abbey on individually guided retreats. This means that guests are able to come here for a few days
or more, to unwind, recharge batteries and have the opportunity to attend monastic services in the Abbey Church.

The word retreat has many nuances. In the monastic context, one basic meaning is to stand back and to take stock of things in order to achieve perspective and insight in to the significance of our everyday lives. This can involve a time to be alone in order to read, think, reflect and pray. There may also be the opportunity to meet other guests and talk in a ‘neutral’ environment.

Southgate is one of the medieval entrances to the outer court of the monastery precinct. The original 13th Century building is thought to have been the Abbey’s Almhouses, providing shelter for the poor. The building is one of the first features to come into view when approaching the Abbey Church and is accessed from the main public car Park.

The house boasts its own chapel, dining room, lounge and quiet reading areas in additional to a wonderful walled water garden and adjoining lawn. Due to recent work, the house now boasts 4 en-suite rooms plus an additional 7 rooms spread over 3 floors. All rooms are comfortably well-appointed with desks and tea/coffee making facilities.

The house has 7 twin rooms and 4 singles, accommodating a maximum of 18 guests. Retreats at Southgate are for women and married couples, men who wish to make a retreat by themselves are welcome to contact the Monastic Guest Master at:

Individuals are invited to make a donation for their stay; please inquire for the charges related to groups. It is not possible for guests to self cater at Southgate.

Please note that Southgate is fully booked on the following dates:
4th - 9th June 2017

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April 26th to 16th of June Installation of The Choir Organ.
Hours of Work. Monday to Saturday
0745 to 1200; 12.45 to 1815; 1900 to 2045

June 19th to the 29th of July Tuning the Choir Organ.
Hours of Work, Mondays to Saturdays
0500 to 1200; 1230 to 1815; 1900 to 0200.

September 4th to 23rd Installation of The Gallery Organ.
September the 25th to October 14th Tuning The Gallery Organ

Hours of Celebrating the Divine Office as below for the Installation and tuning of the Choir Organ - For those attending retreat in the Monastic Guest Quarters at Buckfast Abbey.

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From Monday to Saturday Southgate guests will be able to attend Mass at 12.05pm and Vespers at 6.30pm; it will not be possible to attend the other monastic services as these are not currently held in the Abbey Church. The Blessed Sacrament Chapel remains open for private prayer as does the Chapel in Southgate itself. We hope you understand that these changes are necessary to enable the organ installation and tuning to take place as quickly as possible. There are no current plans to work during the month of August.

For further information please contact:

Women and Married Men: Southgate Guestmaster:-  01364 645521 or

Or you can fill in this inquiry form:

What is your name?

What is your address

What is your email address?

What is your Telephone Number

What is your preferred arrival date?

Are your dates flexible?

How many nights would you like to stay?

Any other information?

If you have any vulnerabilities or safeguarding needs that are relevant to your stay, it is essential that you tell us when making your enquiry.

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Blessing of Oulton Abbey Care Home - 6th September 2017

The new Care Home at Oulton Abbey was blessed by Abbot David on Wednesday 6th September. In the 20th century Buckfast supplied five chaplains for the Benedictine Nuns of Oulton and we continue our association with Oulton to this day. The Care Home in the former school was opened in the 1980s. The buildings were no longer up to the standard required thus a new care home was built in the grounds of the Abbey. As a point of interest the Abbey Church was the first church designed by Edward Pugin when only 19 years old. He was the son of A W Pugin.

Summer Food Fair - 15th July 2017

Locally sourced produce available in the Abbey grounds. The event organised by The Grange, the restaurant adjacent to the Abbey Church.

Run to the Son - 23rd-25th June 2017

Diocese of Plymouth at Buckfast - Prayer and Inspiration forMission. Photographs show the Vigil which started at 23:30, followed by Procession of the Blessed Sacrament, then Dawn Mass on Sunday morning celebrated by the Bishop at 05:30.

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 ...

Garden Philosophy and Organics

A walk and talk with the Abbey's Head Gardener.

Plymouth Diocese Silent Retreat in October

Choose from: Friday 6th to Sunday 8th of October (weekend retreat) Monday 9th of to Friday 13th of October (midweek retreat) Friday 6th of to Friday 13th October (6 day retreat)

Buckfast Abbey: History, Art and Architecture - Book Launch and Conference

Come and attend this unique occasion to hear from highly respected authors who have contributed to the forthcoming publication "Buckfast Abbey: History, Art and Architecture" edited by Rev Peter Beacham.