Torre Abbey Historic House and Gardens

Torre Abbey Historic House & Gardens
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Founded in 1196, Torre Abbey tells the story of over 800 years of history, from life in a rich medieval Premonstratensian monastery, through its dissolution by Henry VIII, the Spanish Armada, the Napoleonic Wars, and Georgian family life in a grand house – to its present incarnation as an Accredited museum, art gallery and Ancient Scheduled Monument. Over 4 floors, you will find stunning heritage rooms, art exhibitions, interactive displays, ʻtalking portraitsʼ, videos and games to bring history to life.

With over 600 works from the 18th century to the present day, Torre Abbeyʼs art collection includes Pre-Raphaelite works of national standing, such as Holman Hunt's ʻThe Children's Holidayʼ, and Burne-Jones' drawings of ʻThe Planetsʼ. Watercolours by Thomas Luny and F J Widgery and a rare proof set of William Blake's ʻBook of Jobʼ. The comprehensive collection from Victorian sculptor Frederick Thrupp is unique. Examples of ceramics, silverware, applied design and furniture also on display.

Torre Abbeyʼs award-winning garden is famed for its exuberant plantings of herbaceous perennials, roses and dahlias set in a tranquil landscape around the Abbey ruins. Rare shrubs and trees flourish in the mild ʻRivieraʼ climate and displays such as the knot garden and orchard reflect the rich history of the Abbey. The Palm House contains tropical and sub-tropical plants including rare and endangered palms from Kew Gardens, along with bananas, pineapples and tropical flowers. Children explore with our discovery backpacks and our outdoor learning programme provides activities throughout the year. Regular adult activities and talks by garden experts from across the South West.

Venue Type:

Historic house or home, Gallery, Garden, parklands or rural site, Archaeological site, Museum, Heritage site

Opening hours

Opening Hours:
10am to 5pm (last admission 4pm)

Opening Days:
June – Sept: Monday – Sunday
March – May / Oct – Dec: Wednesday – Sunday

Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Open all Bank Holiday Mondays March, May, August.

Admission charges

DAY PASS
Adults £7.85
Concessions £6.45
Children (up to 18 years) Free
Adult Garden £4.00
Concession Garden £3.30

ANNUAL PASS
Annual Ticket £16.00
Annual Ticket Concession £13.00
Children (up to 18 years) Free

PRE-BOOKED GROUPS
Education Group (Schools) £3.25 for led session
Adult Group (15+) £6.00

Discounts

  • Museums Association
  • National Art Pass
Getting there

By rail: Direct trains from Exeter Central & Newton Abbot. Torquay Station 5 mins walk.

By boat: Torquay-Brixham-Dartmouth ferries daily 1 April to 31 October.

By bus: 12, 22, 60, 61, 62, Gold, X46 to Torre Abbey Meadows/ Sands; 32, 62 to Torre Abbey bus-stop (Falkland Rd); 26, 120 to Torquay Station bus-stop (Rathmore Rd).

By car: From seafront, both Rathmore Rd and Avenue Rd take you to Chestnut Ave for Torre Abbey parking (adjacent to Riviera Centre TQ2 5LZ). Parking at Torre Abbey Car Park is reimbursed for your first visit. (Not in conjunction with other offers. Maximum refunds £4.00). Drop-off point and limited parking in the grounds for disabled people.

By bike: On cycle route with bike rack on site.

Additional info

The building is now 90% wheelchair accessible

With over 600 works from the 18th century to the present day, Torre Abbeyʼs art collection includes Pre-Raphaelite works of national standing, such as Holman Hunt's ʻThe Children's Holidayʼ, and Burne-Jones' drawings of ʻThe Planetsʼ. Watercolours by Thomas Luny and F J Widgery and a rare proof set of William Blake's ʻBook of Jobʼ. The comprehensive collection from Victorian sculptor Frederick Thrupp is unique. Examples of ceramics, silverware, applied design and furniture also on display.

Following an extensive restoration project, our 800 Years galleries tell the multi-faceted histories of Torre Abbey through interactive, audio-visual, written and object-based interpretation.

Regularly changing displays of the Permanent Collection and a visible art store show the strength of Torre Abbeys stored collection, alongside our changing Exhibitions Programme.

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Personalities, Social History, Coins and Medals, Religion, Weapons and War, Maritime

Key artists and exhibits

  • William Holman Hunt
  • Edward Burne-Jones
  • William Blake
  • John Brett
  • Thomas Luny
  • William Salter
  • Frederick Thrupp
  • Arthur Hacker
  • Pietro Calvi
  • John Martin
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Launcelot Cary

They Shall Not Grow Old WW1 Exhibition

  • 1 July — 10 September 2016 *on now

How did the great war affect every family in the country who had loved ones fighting at the front?

What horrors did our soldiers face in the trenches?

Find out the answers to these questions and more at our commemorative exhibition for 1914-1918 featuring artefacts, photographs, and archives from period.

Admission

Free with Admission to the Abbey

Website

http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/106/they-shall-not-grow-old-ww1-exhibition

Sublime Symmetry Exhibition: William De Morgan

  • 10 September — 4 December 2016

A new national touring exhibition for 2016

The Sublime Symmetry exhibition showcases the work of William De Morgan, the celebrated Victorian Arts and Crafts designer and colleague of William Morris. The exhibition presents over 80 magnificent works, including ceramics from the De Morgan Collection as well as his original designs which we have on loan from the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The pieces have all been chosen to demonstrate the mathematical concepts which are the basis for his beautiful and colourful ceramic designs.
Children will be able to explore the patterns, shapes and symmetry in De Morgan’s elaborately decorated tiles and pots. Making learning maths fun, there will be interactive games and a family trail that can be enjoyed by budding mathematicians both young and old.

The exhibition is supported by an exciting schools programme and teacher information pack aimed at Key Stage 2.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free with normal admission prices

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
beehive builders

Beehive Builder

  • 25 — 29 July 2016 *on now

Paint two little bees, one to take home and one to add to our beehive as it grows with children's contributions over the summer. Join us throughout the day from 25 - 29 July.

Jackie Bufton works as a glass artist and creative educator, through her studio based in Hannahs at Seale-Hayne and through community projects across South Devon.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£1.50

Make a Wiggly Wormery

  • 27 July 2016 *on now

Throughout the day in the garden. Then join our Bug Hunt Bingo trail and Snail Races at 2pm.

FREE. Just one of many activities every day through the summer.
- See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/162/make-a-wiggly-wormery-free-drop-in-activity#sthash.PcQWbRXH.dpuf

Suitable for

  • Any age
Holman Hunt

Portraits and Painting: Creative Family Workshops

  • 27 July 2016 *on now

The draw yourselves or each other, learning tricks about how to proportion the head and our facial features. Enjoy painting a portrait or self-portrait and take home your own masterpiece! Most suited for ages 8 and over, but all ages welcome. - See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/198/portraits-painting-creative-family-workshops#sthash.xsb9DiUd.dpuf

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£2.50

Slimy Snails

  • 28 July 2016

Lots of mucky fun to be had in our outdoor mud kitchen with activities for younger kids.

Throughout the day in the garden. Then join our Bug Hunt Bingo trail and Snail Races at 2pm.

FREE. Just one of many activities every day through the summer.
- See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/199/slimey-snails-mucky-garden-fun#sthash.SxgCMmuF.dpuf

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Garden Creations

  • 28 July 2016

Build characters out of clay, wood, feathers and other natural materials, and create scenes for them in our Woodland Walk, before taking them home to your own garden. Most suited for ages 6 and over, but all ages welcome. - See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/179/garden-creations-creative-family-workshops#sthash.rlmWuaUm.dpuf

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

Workshop times: 10am - 1.00pm and 1.30pm - 4.30pm

Cost: £2.50 per child (accompanying adults go free)
- See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/179/garden-creations-creative-family-workshops#sthash.rlmWuaUm.dpuf

Young Archaeoloists

Young Archaeologists

  • 29 July 2016

Then use plaster and clay to create your own archaeological fossil to take home! Most suitable for ages 5 and over, but all ages welcome. - See more at:

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

Workshop times: 10am - 1.00pm and 1.30pm - 4.30pm

Cost: £2.50 per child (accompanying adults go free)
- See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/202/young-archaeologists-creative-family-workshops#sthash.GsR2D6FJ.dpuf

Silk Painting:Creative Family Workshops

  • 1 August 2016

Bridget creates silk paintings and flags as well as smoke-fired ceramics. She has delivered education and community projects for over 20 years. A member of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen since 2000, Bridget’s work has been widely exhibited across the UK.

Suitable for age 5 and over.
- See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/192/silk-painting-creative-family-workshops#sthash.ZptzJ3d0.dpuf

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10
  • 14-15
  • 18+
  • 16-17
  • 11-13

Admission

Cost: £15.00 for parent and child (include silk and paint materials). Booking advised, but drop-ins welcome if spaces are available. - See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/192/silk-painting-creative-family-workshops#sthash.ZptzJ3d0.dpuf

Rhino's Colourful Collage

  • 1 — 5 August 2016

Throughout the day in Hidden House. Then why not adventure into the gardens and see if you can find any rhinoceroses painted by artists for the Great Rhino Trail! - See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/163/rhinos-colourful-collage-free-drop-in-activity#sthash.LedscNDM.dpuf

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children
Fantastic Plastic Flowers

Fantastic Plastic Flowers

  • 2 — 3 August 2016

Led by Dee Martin, art historian, museum educator and Torre Abbey's Learning Officer.

Workshop times: 10am - 1.00pm and 1.30pm - 4.30pm
- See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/166/fantastic-plastic-flowers-creative-family-workshops#sthash.heoKMwiW.dpuf

Suitable for

  • Especially for children
  • Family friendly

Admission

Cost: £2.50 per child (accompanying adults go free)

Armour plated rhino

Armour-Plated: Junk modelling family workshops

  • 4 August 2016

Rhinoceros, tortoises, crocodiles, porcupines ... what will you make! Most suited for ages 5 and over, but all ages welcome. - See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/191/armour-plated-junk-modelling-family-workshops#sthash.0S8frALK.dpuf

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

Workshop times: 10am - 1.00pm and 1.30pm - 4.30pm

Cost: £2.50 per child (accompanying adults go free)
- See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/191/armour-plated-junk-modelling-family-workshops#sthash.0S8frALK.dpuf

Textile Treasures

  • 5 August 2016

This workshop is led by textile artist Jackie Martin. Jackie's own work combines textile printing, embroidery and digital photography. With a wealth of experience in creative education, she has exhibited widely across the UK.

Workshop times:

10am - 1.00pm: ages 6-11, with parents

1.30pm - 4.30pm: ages 11-16
- See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/168/textile-treasures-creative-workshops#sthash.HvHaAJ1z.dpuf

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Cost: £5.00 per child (accompanying adults go free, but grown-ups can buy a ticket too if you'd like to make your own tote bag too) - See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/168/textile-treasures-creative-workshops#sthash.HvHaAJ1z.dpuf

Salt Dough Bugs

  • 8 August 2016

10.30am - 1.00pm and 2.00pm - 4.30pm - See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/204/salt-dough-bugs-drop-in-creative-activity#sthash.q7ejJMr6.dpuf

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

Drop-in activity. Cost: £1.50

Drama Day

  • 8 August 2016

Work as a group to devise your own stories, developing your ideas through drama and movement over the course of the session. Most suited for ages 8-14.

Led by theatre practitioner Jade Campbell. Jade is a co-Director of Doorstep Arts, working with young people throughout the year devising original performance with groups at The Edge, Brixham and Palace Theatre, Paignton.

Session times: 10am - 1.00pm or 1.30pm - 4.30pm

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13

Admission

Cost: £2.50 per child

Plant a Pot for Pollinators & Buglife Pollinator Survey

  • 9 August 2016

Plant a pot with seeds for pollinators, then take it home and watch them grow! Join in Torbay’s Buzzing Pollinator Survey to see how many species we can find in Torre Abbey Gardens. Throughout the day in the garden.

- See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/200/plant-a-pot-for-pollinators-buglife-pollinator-survey#sthash.Yh2OzUOR.dpuf

Printmaking: Creative family workshops

  • 9 August 2016

Printmaking provides a great opportunity to experiment with texture, colour and composition, whatever your age. Suitable for ages 7 and over.

Artist Gaby Lovatt trained at Dartington College of Arts. Over the past 15 years she has worked with children, young people and communities using the arts as a vehicle to create positive social change.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

Workshop times: 10am - 1.00pm and 1.30pm - 4.30pm

Cost: £2.50 per child (accompanying adults go free, but grown-ups can buy a ticket too if you'd like to make your own beautiful prints to keep!)

Making Music: Songhive workshops

  • 10 August 2016

No musical/singing experience is required. Most suited for ages 7 and over.

Led by Steve Sowden. Steve is a musician, songwriter, producer and videographer. He has worked with National Theatre of Scotland, WNO and Philharmonia’s iOrchestra. He works with groups of all ages to devise new music, and is currently working on Torbay's new music and theatre production GeoOpera.

Session times: 10am - 1.00pm or 1.30pm - 4.30pm
- See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/201/making-music-songhive-workshops#sthash.HlCkovEc.dpuf

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 14-15

Admission

Cost: £2.50 per child Booking advised, but drop-ins welcome if spaces are available. - See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/201/making-music-songhive-workshops#sthash.HlCkovEc.dpuf

Mud Kitchen and Water play

  • 11 August 2016

A chance for little ones to enjoy water play, mud and more in a safe, relaxed environment with room for parents to put their feet up close-by.

Staff-supported activities on 11 August, but our mud kitchen will be accessible throughout the holidays.
- See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/169/mud-kitchen-waterplay-free-drop-in-activities#sthash.lpA6ePX7.dpuf

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children
Bugs

Felted Bugs: Creative family workshops

  • 11 August 2016

These little creatures are made using simple needle felting techniques - a fun, rewarding activity for all ages. Led by Dee Martin, art historian, museum educator and Torre Abbey's Learning Officer.

Workshop times: 10am - 1.00pm and 1.30pm - 4.30pm

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

Cost: £2.50 per child (accompanying adults go free, but grown-ups can buy a ticket too if you'd like to make your own little creatures!) - See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/157/felted-bugs-creative-family-workshops#sthash.MlnnMExE.dpuf

Colour Painters

  • 12 August 2016

Make a colourwheel and learn about different colour schemes used by painters to make their colours sing! Create your own beautiful paintings, combining ideas from the work you have seen and your imagination. Most suited for ages 7 and over, but all ages welcome. - See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/196/colour-painters-creative-family-workshops#sthash.snLcVO9e.dpuf

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

Workshop times: 10am - 1.00pm and 1.30pm - 4.30pm

Cost: £2.50 per child (accompanying adults go free)
- See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/196/colour-painters-creative-family-workshops#sthash.snLcVO9e.dpuf

Handling History: Free drop-in activities

  • 15 August 2016

Quiz our knowledgable team on a whole range of objects from Torre Abbey's handling collection, many of which you can handle with care. - See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/187/handling-history-free-drop-in-activities#sthash.EB1Xc6fs.dpuf

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

Find us in Hidden House from 11.00am - 12.00 and 2.00pm - 3.00pm.

FREE. Just one of many activities every day through the summer.

- See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/187/handling-history-free-drop-in-activities#sthash.EB1Xc6fs.dpuf

Quest The Torre Abbey Mystery

  • 16 — 25 August 2016

Quest is a new way of exploring amazing histories, myths and tales, taking you on a promenade performance and 'make' through the grounds of Torre Abbey. The Quest lasts approximately 2 hours during which time the Quest Builders will guide and involve audiences young and old, with performance and song. During the Quest, you'll get involved in making props and costumes to wear yourselves, and hopefully solve the mystery together!

Performance dates & times:

16, 17, 18, 22, 23 and 24 August: 11am and 2pm each day.

25 August: 11am only

Cost: adult £4.00, child £2.50
- See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/174/quest-the-torre-abbey-mystery#sthash.5pNw2Fpe.dpuf

Suitable for

  • Any age

Brass Rubbing

  • 16 August 2016

11am - 1pm and 2pm - 4pm in Hidden House.

FREE. Just one of many activities every day through the summer.
- See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/158/brass-rubbing-free-drop-in-activities#sthash.Kj1bCb74.dpuf

Suitable for

  • Any age

Story Builders: Free Drop in activities

  • 17 August 2016

Sessions at 10.30am and 1.30pm in Hidden House.

Approximately 40 minutes each.

FREE. Just one of many activities every day through the summer.

- See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/170/story-builders-free-drop-in-activities#sthash.19qnwu2b.dpuf

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Gruesome Gargoyles: Creative family workshops

  • 30 August 2016

Gargoyles often look like fantastic animals with a long necks to carry water away from ornate buildings. Most suited for ages 7 and over, but all ages welcome with parents on hand to help. - See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/194/gruesome-gargoyles-creative-family-workshops#sthash.obUYn4ys.dpuf

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

Workshop times: 10am - 1.00pm and 1.30pm - 4.30pm

Cost: £2.50 per child (accompanying adults go free)
- See more at: http://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/events/details/194/gruesome-gargoyles-creative-family-workshops#sthash.obUYn4ys.dpuf

Heritage

Heritage Open Days

  • 10 — 11 September 2016

As part of Heritage Open Days, we invite everyone to discover the richness of local history, architecture and culture on your doorstep and across the UK.

A survey by Heritage Open Days has revealed that becoming a tourist in your own town can make you feel better about yourself, healthier and more relaxed as well as having a significant impact on the wellbeing of your own community. So discover the beauty and diversity of Torre Abbey, with changing exhibitions, tranquil gardens and over 800 of architecture all in one incredible site.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free!

Drypoint

Drypoint Symmetry: Printmaking Course

  • 10 November — 8 December 2016

Drypoint is an intaglio process, working directly on a perspex plate. The process lends itself to lively, expressive mark making, using needles, roulettes, sandpapers and power tools. Monoprint (or monotype) is a print taken from an inked surface, where one print is made each time (as opposite to multiple editions). Led by artist printmakers from Double Elephant Print Workshop, this 5-week course is suitable for complete beginners, but also for those with experience of printmaking or who are familiar with other creative processes. All materials will be supplied. For more information about the course contact artist Simon Ripley direct at simon@doubleelephant.org.uk or by phone on 07857 036433. Book a place online or call Torre Abbey on 01803 293593.

Dates: Thursdays: 10th Nov, 17th Nov, 24th Nov, 1st Dec, 8th Dec 2016.

Times: 2.00pm - 4.30pm

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Cost: £125 for 5 session course.

Takeover Day

  • 11 June 2017

It’s a day on which children and young people take on meaningful roles, working alongside staff and volunteers to participate in the life of our museums.

The Torre Abbey team will be working with children and young people through October and November, to prepare them for the big day, when they take the riens at Torre Abbey Historic House and Gardens! As you can imagine, there are plenty of different tasks to learn about ...

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

If you'd like to find out more about how to get involved, contact us by email to find out more torreabbeyenquiries@torbay.gov.uk

Getting there

By rail: Direct trains from Exeter Central & Newton Abbot. Torquay Station 5 mins walk.

By boat: Torquay-Brixham-Dartmouth ferries daily 1 April to 31 October.

By bus: 12, 22, 60, 61, 62, Gold, X46 to Torre Abbey Meadows/ Sands; 32, 62 to Torre Abbey bus-stop (Falkland Rd); 26, 120 to Torquay Station bus-stop (Rathmore Rd).

By car: From seafront, both Rathmore Rd and Avenue Rd take you to Chestnut Ave for Torre Abbey parking (adjacent to Riviera Centre TQ2 5LZ). Parking at Torre Abbey Car Park is reimbursed for your first visit. (Not in conjunction with other offers. Maximum refunds £4.00). Drop-off point and limited parking in the grounds for disabled people.

By bike: On cycle route with bike rack on site.

Torre Abbey Historic House and Gardens
The King's Drive
Torquay
Devon
TQ2 5JE
England

logo: Museums at Night

Website

www.torre-abbey.org.uk/homepage

E-mail

torreabbeyenquiries@torbay.gov.uk

Education Officer

dee.martin@torbay.gov.uk

Telephone

01803 293593

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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