Torre Abbey to undergo crucial repair and conservation works thanks to NHMF emergency funding

Torbay Council has received a £363,748 grant from NHMF’s Covid-19 Response Fund for urgently needed works to Torre Abbey’s Southeast Wing.

The Grade I listed Scheduled Monument Torre Abbey was founded in 1196 as a monastery for Premonstratensian canons. Situated in Torbay, it is considered the best preserved medieval abbey in Devon and Cornwall. 

The abbey is set within 18 acres of garden and parkland and houses over 6000 historic objects, including artworks from the 18th century to the present day. Managed by Torbay Council, it receives daily tourists and hosts many community events, workshops and school activities.

Front-facing view of the abbey on a sunny day. It is a large white building with a lawn in front
Front-facing view of Torre Abbey

Heritage at risk

COVID-19 lockdowns meant staff and contractors could not gain their usual level of access to perform essential routine maintenance. This has accelerated deterioration and left areas of the building in critical condition. A reduction in visitor numbers during this time has also had a substantial impact on the abbey’s finances. 

There is now a significant risk that parts of the building will be closed and important artworks put into storage, further impacting the abbey’s income and community work.

NHMF funding 

Thanks to £363,748 funding from NHMF’s COVID-19 Response Fund, the council can now make safe, repair and conserve the abbey’s Southeast Wing façade, Courtyard 4 and Tower by:

  • addressing water ingress and trapped moisture
  • completing parapet and window repairs
  • repairing masonry and repointing
  • repairing internal plaster finishes
  • improving ventilation and replacing inadequate rainwater goods

The works are expected to start in February 2023 and be completed by June 2024.

Other funders

Total project cost is £1.37million. Arts Council England have provided a MEND grant of £468,993. Remaining costs are covered by Torbay Council and the Friends of Torre. 

South West
Grant awarded
Year awarded