Torre Abbey Historic House and Gardens has had a great 2015, scooping four prestigious awards, played host to a range of high profile and smaller intimate events and was the stunning back drop to many beautiful and unusual weddings.
In May, The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced its South West regional winner, with Torre Abbey winning the 2015 Conservation Award. This was also the month that the Abbey gained its third TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.
It was a bumper win for the attraction at the South West Tourism Awards with the Abbey romping home with two awards. A Gold for Best Visitor Attraction and a Bronze in the Tourism Experience category were bestowed upon this jewel in Torbay’s crown.
In September, the international Agatha Christie Festival once again made the Abbey its hub with thousands of visitors attending the many different literary and Agatha-related events that were on offer.
As part of artist Kate Paxman’s year-long residency a new two part exhibition, Mutability and Beaten Early took place during the Summer months. Kate became captivated by the building, viewing it as part of its extensive collections and her work reflected this fascination.
Another exhibition celebrated the Devon and Dorset Rifles Regiment. Items on display were loaned from the Dorchester Keep Museum and Winchester Rifles. The Abbey has illustrious links with the Rifles through the Cary family which owned and occupied the house from 1662 to 1930. Both Lionel Cary and his brother Lucius served in the regiment.
Executive Lead of Tourism, Culture and Harbours and Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Nicole Amil, said: “The Abbey and Gardens are truly wonderful. They tell the story of 820 years of history, between 1196 and 1930, through a clever mix of authentic artefacts and hi-tech interpretation through talking portraits and statues to interactive displays. It is also home to one of the finest art collections in the South West.
“Agatha Christie’s potent plant garden and a Palm House are just some of the wonderful features that can be found in the grounds of the Abbey. It is a beautiful haven with exotic plants where you can relax, stroll or picnic. The house and gardens really do have something for everyone.”
Visitors to the Abbey can browse a shop with a range of souvenirs, gifts and books or sit down and relax with a drink, snack or light meal in the beautifully decorated shabby chic Abbey Tearoom.
The Abbey will be closed from Thursday 31 December, in order for work to be undertaken on the collections, and will reopen for February half term. For further information on the Abbey and 2016 opening times please visit www.torre-abbey.org.uk