Visitors to Torre Abbey can now view the stone effigy of a 15th-century knight which has not been seen for over 470 years.

Smashed in 1539 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, many of the pieces of the knight have now been found. They are on show in a glass case in the Cellarer's Undercroft, displayed as they would have been positioned in the original monument. The knight can be seen with hands clasped as if in prayer and head raised as if on a stone pillow. Staff at the Abbey have linked the knight to the late 12th-century founder of Torre Abbey, William Brewer.

Torbay Council’s Executive Lead for Culture and Arts, Councillor Dave Butt said: “This effigy of a knight is so unusual as more of its surviving pieces have been identified than for any of the other figures on display at Torre Abbey. I encourage you all to make a visit to Torre Abbey to see this new resident, and this is now easier as the Abbey and its gardens are open 7 days a week during the summer.’

Built in 1196, Torre Abbey is Torquay’s most important building and is the best surviving medieval monastery in Devon and Cornwall. It has been carefully restored to showcase key periods of its 800-year history and provide an enriching visitor experience with state-of-the-art interpretation.

The site comprises structures dating from various periods through the centuries, including the ruined remains of a medieval abbey, buried remains and landscape features including a scheduled ancient monument, Tudor and Regency residential areas, a chapel, a monastic undercroft, ornamental gardens and palm house and a medieval tithe barn – called The Spanish Barn from the 397 prisoners held there during the Spanish Armada.

As well as its architectural features, Torre Abbey houses a museum collection with archaeological and memorabilia finds from the medieval abbey and a fine art collection of regional and local importance, including some nationally important works, donated mainly from Torbay residents.

Torre Abbey is open 7 days a week until 21 September 2014 and then from Wednesdays to Sundays until Christmas. For more information visit


Notes for editors

One picture of the Knight is available.




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