The surviving remains of Buckland Abbey which are situated between the village of Buckland Monachorum and the hamlet of Milton Combe. The monument includes the upstanding and buried remains of an abbey of the Cistercian Order. The abbey was founded in 1278 by Amicia, Countess of Devon and was colonised by monks from Quarr Abbey in the Isle of Wight, and dedicated to St Benedict. Following its dissolution in 1539 the abbey and home farm were sold in 1541 to the Grenville family. By 1576 Sir Richard Grenville had completed the conversion of the church into an Elizabethan mansion. In 1581 the property was sold to Sir Francis Drake and remained with that family until 1946. In 1949 the house was given to the National Trust and is now principally in use as a museum.
The abbey conforms to the traditional monastic plan in which a church and three ranges of buildings are grouped around the cloister, with ancillary buildings further from the nucleus. The visible remains exist as a number of adapted structures, consisting of substantial parts of the abbey church incorporated into a later mansion, part of the cloister, a barn, a farm building (guesthouse), part of the abbot's lodgings incorporated into a later structure, part of the precinct wall, and two main areas of earthworks. The buried remains are extensive and include the claustral ranges, graveyard, a gatehouse, buildings forming the home farm, and the water management system. For the details of the separate components of the abbey site please see the individual records.