Torre Abbey – Welcoming Visitors for over 800 years

Torre Abbey is Torbay’s most historic building, a multi-award-winning visitor attraction, set within 18 acres of stunning gardens and parkland.


  • More than 600 incredible works of art, from the 18th century to the present day

  • State-of-the-art technology, telling the Abbey’s fascinating story

  • An exciting programme of specially curated seasonal exhibitions

  • Family-friendly trails and fun children’s activities

  • A secret walled garden, home to the Agatha Christie Potent Plants display

  • A packed programme of events and activities throughout the year

  • Onsite café and gift shop



Founded in 1196, Torre Abbey became the wealthiest English monastery of the order of Premonstratensian canons. The extent of its survival makes Torre Abbey the best-preserved medieval abbey in Devon and Cornwall. After King Henry VIII closed the monastery in 1539, two of its former ranges of buildings were adapted for use as a private house. From 1662, this house became the home of the Cary family, who lived here for nearly 300 years.

Art and Culture 

Today the abbey provides an ideal setting for Torbay’s collection of paintings and antiques, most of which have been donated by local people. Several times a year, Torre Abbey welcomes visiting art exhibitions from partners including the V&A, the Tate and the Arts Council Collection.

Family Friendly Activities

We recognise that children are the museum visitors of tomorrow, so we want them to have the best experience possible. Free activity sheets are available from the main desk, while we also organise regular treasure hunts and other workshops and activities to complement our visiting exhibitions.

The Gardens 

Our award-winning garden is famed for exuberant plantings of herbaceous perennials, roses and dahlias. Rare shrubs and trees flourish in the English Riviera climate, and our palm and cactus house contain tropical and subtropical plans. Crime fiction fans will also enjoy the Agatha Christie Potent Plants Garden that celebrates Torquay’s most famous former resident.

Open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am until 5pm (last entry 3.45pm) and on Bank Holiday Mondays. Torre Abbey Café open 7 days a week.