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Buckland Abbey

Location: Yelverton, Devon PL20 6EY

Buckland Abbey the home of the Elizabethan hero Sir Francis Drake boasts a fine 16th-century great hall, this building is also associated with Grenville who was also an Elizabethan seafarer. Formally a Cistercian Monastery which was in a state of ruins prior to being purchased by its new owner Sir Francis Drake in 1581. There are indeed a wide array of curious cases of the supernatural associated to this 700 year old structure.


The building contains a selection of Drake’s relics and paintings and no more so than the most treasured relic being Sir Francis Drake’s Drum, which is said to have accompanied Drake on board his ship the Golden Hind, this very drum would have beaten out a thunderous sound on the onslaught of battle as a call to arms. It too is known that this very drum has been heard beating out a ghostly tattoo during the First World War in 1915 and once again in 1965 witnessed by a gardener who stated that he clearly heard the drum beat out.  Sir Francis Drake did indeed live the life of a national hero, although his spirit is said to haunt a variety of locations around Devon including Buckland Abbey, where ghostly apparition has been witnessed being accompanied by a pack of so called 'hell hounds' are rumored to haunt his former home.

There are stories of other ghosts being sighted in and around the Abbey and also rumours of undiscovered tunnels connecting the Abbey to the local village.  Also legends abound about Sir Francis Drake being in league with the Devil to ensure the defeat of the Armada.


There is a well-known poem written by Sir Henry Newbolt which was published in 1895 referring to Drake’s Drum.

“Take my drum to England, hang et by the shore, strike et when your powder’s runnin’ low, If the Dons sight Devon, I’ll quite the port o’ Heaven, An ‘drum the up the Channel as we drummed them long ago.”

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