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Short Description of Torre Abbey, A by Hugh Robert Watkin (1868 - 1937)
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Short Description of Torre Abbey, A by Hugh Robert Watkin (1868 - 1937)

Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the time of Henry VIII, a significant part of the buildings of Torre Abbey, particularly the church area, lay in ruins. Then, during the 17th century and subsequently, surviving parts of the abbey were incorporated into the creation of a grand private residence, the owner of which in the early part of the 20th century was Colonel Lucius Cary. With the permission of the colonel, Hugh Watkin, who at that time was living in the Chelston district of Torquay, fairly close to the abbey, undertook certain excavations of the remaining ruins between the years of 1906 and 1911. Until he made his excavations the ruins had not been thoroughly investigated. This book sets forth his findings and conclusions, and is the last of the three editions published, being dated July, 1912. Much more archaeological work has been carried out since the author’s day, and further important discoveries made relating to the abbey’s history. Torre Abbey passed into the ownership of the local council in 1930. Today, the house, which is now an art gallery and museum, ruins and beautiful gardens are open to the public, and many events, including weddings and exhibitions, take place in the house and grounds every year. It is a Grade 1 listed building. - Summary by Garth Burton

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