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Torre Abbey

A Grade I Listed Building in Torquay, Torbay

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.464 / 50°27'50"N

Longitude: -3.5406 / 3°32'26"W

OS Eastings: 290748

OS Northings: 63817

OS Grid: SX907638

Mapcode National: GBR QV.X7XM

Mapcode Global: FRA 37GT.QG5

Entry Name: Torre Abbey

Listing Date: 20 November 1952

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1206852

English Heritage Legacy ID: 390820

Location: Torbay, TQ2

County: Torbay

Electoral Ward/Division: Tormohun

Built-Up Area: Torquay

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Torre All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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Listing Text


TORQUAY

SX9063 THE KING'S DRIVE
885-1/17/250 (East side)
20/11/52 Torre Abbey

GV I

Premonstratensian Abbey. Founded 1196, converted to a house in
1598 with progressive remodellings of the late C17, C18 and
early C20. Local grey limestone and red sandstone rubble;
partly rendered; stacks with stone or brick shafts.
PLAN: Courtyard plan. Ruins of Abbey church to the N; chapter
house and first-floor dormitory in E range with covered
cloister on W side. W range originally guest hall and private
apartments, guest hall partly converted to RC chapel in 1779.
S range originally refectory over cellar with SW wing
adjoining. Offset C14 gatehouse to the SW.
EXTERIOR: The gatehouse is the best-preserved medieval
structure of the complex. Embattled with octagonal corner
turrets and one large and one smaller double-chamfered archway
with rib vaults with carved bosses; scattered fenestration.
Long 2:1:3-window W front with a projecting 3-stage embattled
tower in the centre with, alongside to the north, an embattled
porch block with a moulded archway leading to a flight of
steps up. Tall 1779 chapel windows to the left: 24-pane sashes
with pointed-arched glazing bars in the upper tier. 2-light
transomed windows to the right.
The tower has a crank-headed doorway and 2 and 3-light C19 or
C20 Ham Hill stone-mullioned windows with hoodmoulds. C12
moulded window in S side of tower. Low embattled screen walls
to left and right of the tower. To right of this front an
embattled range (SW wing) with a 4-window front adjoins the
gatehouse.
Embattled S range with a largely Georgian 5:7:5-bay S front,
the centre 7 bays recessed and 2-storey. 12-pane sashes to the
outer bays; 24-pane to the centre, except the first-floor tier
which has French windows onto individual cast-iron balconies.
Central open porch on columns with segmental pediment and
modillion frieze.
Irregular and partly-ruinous E wing with 2 small late Tudor
towers to the NE. On the E side of the cloister the chapter
house ruins with a Transitional moulded archway flanked by
round-headed windows.
Plan form of church still discernible: in form of transept
with a rectangular chancel and original N aisle.
INTERIOR: S range preserves medieval undercroft with groin
vaults on columns. W range undercrofts also intact with
similar vaults on square-section or cylindrical columns. W
range roof, thought to be late medieval, also intact: a
plastered wagon with bosses, visible in the C18 chapel. First
floor of tower has intersecting beamed ceiling with chamfered,
stopped joists.
Passage entrance to chapel preserves a large recess, possibly
a domestic piscina (qv Kirkhanm House, Paignton). medieval
stair to SW wing (Pevsner). Gatehouse preserves medieval stair
and garderobe shaft. C17 service stair with turned balusters
in SW range.
C18 domestic features include a staircase between S & W ranges
with turned balusters and carved tread-ends. Fine C18 dining
room with a good cornice and white marble chimneypiece.
Chapel has reredos by Kendall of Exeter. Some early C20
fittings include stained glass, probably dating from Colonel
Cary's period in residence, beginning 1906-7.
A site of major archaeological as well as architectural
interest. Recent (1987-88) archaeological investigations by
the Exeter Field Unit established more detail about the Abbey
Church and the whole site might yield further evidence of
interest.
(Buildings of England: Cherry B: Devon: London: 1952-1989:
P.852-3).


Listing NGR: SX9077563814

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