For 800 years Torre Abbey has been the official residence of Torbay's leading citizens: the Abbots of Torre, the Lords of Torre Manor, the Cary family and until recently the Mayor of Torbay.
Today, Torre Abbey comprises two Grade I listed buildings and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument of national importance. The splendid gatehouse dates from the 14th century. The church lies in ruins, but on the west and south sides of the cloisters the stonework rises to roof level.
The Spanish Barn is one of Britain's most complete early medieval barns. It is so called because in 1588 it was used to house 400 Spanish prisoners from the Spanish Armada.
After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539, Torre Abbey was adapted as a private residence. From 1662 to 1930 it was owned by the Cary family. Its present appearance dates from the 1740s, when the south wing facing the sea was dressed up in the prevailing classical style.
Torre Abbey was purchased by Torbay Borough Council in 1930.
Other interesting facts about Torre Abbey are also available on the Twenty Things You Never Knew About Torre Abbey page.
You can also find out more about visiting Torre Abbey at www.torre-abbey.org.uk
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