Dating back some 800 years, the Abbey was founded in 1196AD. Now it functions as a museum - partly telling the story of the Abbey itself, and partly hosting a number of other exhibitions of more general local interest. Some of the rooms contain displays of a number of the ancient artefacts found on site. However, with the application of Lottery funds, the local council has created a museum in the building with space to accommodate a wide range of exhibits. We saw an exhibition devoted to the life of Agatha Christie, an exhibition detailing some of the history of the Devon and Dorset Regiment, a large number of artworks from the Council's collection,and a gallery setting out the story of the Abbey over the 800 years of its existence.
Outside the grounds are beautifully laid out but incorporate several stone ruins, relics of ancient Abbey buildings. There is also a large tropical glasshouse containing many exotic plant species, and finally, in the lower ground floor there is the tea-room, wherein most of the party spent the last half hour or so of their visit.
This was a fascinating day out, all the more enjoyable for being able to leave the task of navigating through the congestion of Kingskerswell and its roadworks to our coach driver.