Back of a painting of North Gate Arch
This image is a copy of the pen and ink and watercolour drawing by **John White Abbott** (1764 - 1851). It shows the North Gate Arch of Buckfast Abbey in 1798. The original drawing is in the Leeds City Art Gallery. John White Abbott was born in Exeter in 1763 and forged a career as an apothecary and surgeon in the city. He became an important friend of **Francis Towne** (1740-1816)and also took lessons from him to learn the art of **watercolour** painting. **Francis Towne is now considered one of the most innovative watercolourists of his age**. The original monastery at Buckfast was founded in 1018 and became a **Cistercian Abbey** in 1147. When the present monks returned to Buckfast in 1882, they were able to uncover almost all of the original foundations dating back to this period, and rebuild the Abbey in the architectural style of the mid-twelfth century - effectively restoring the original Cistercian abbey. The **arch of the north gate** and part of the **barrel-vaulted undercroft** by the west cloister are now the only buildings to survive (above ground) from the original 12th century Cistercian abbey.