Buckfast Abbey Exterior - B Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Buckfast Beasties!

Hello everybody, and I hope this new week is treating you well! Today we’re going to catch up with Paddy and Plunkett, who we last saw exploring the weird and wonderful environs of the Lost Gardens of Heligan.
A Narrow Escape for Paddy - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThis time, they’re much less likely to have to save their woolly skins from prowling mud giants. Their wandering paws have brought them to this peaceful place!
Buckfast Abbey from Outside - B Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThis is Buckfast Abbey, home to an entirely self-supporting community of Benedictine monks.

The original abbey at Buckfast was demolished in 1539 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and the site became a quarry, then the grounds of a private house. But then, in 1882, the land was purchased by the Benedictines, who set about re-establishing a monastic community here.

Building work started in 1907, and took around 30 years to complete. And looking at what they created…
Buckfast Abbey Exterior - B Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… You’d never know that this was accomplished with virtually no mechanical assistance. The monks borrowed a horse and cart from a local farmer for transportation, and their scaffolding was held together with tied ropes! And if you think that’s impressive…
Inside Buckfast Abbey - B Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… The interior will take your breath away!
Painted Ceilings at Buckfast Abbey - B Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd outside the Abbey, the grounds also contain a farm, sensory garden, lavender garden and a working water mill. The atmosphere of calm and reflection here really amazed the boys – maybe that’s why they’re not gadding about in front of the camera as much as usual!

However, on the way out, they stopped by the Abbey’s produce shop…
Shopping at Buckfast Abbey - B Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… To pick up a Beastie-sized sample of one of the monks’ most celebrated creations – Buckfast Tonic Wine!

“I think it’s important we support all the good work these people do, Plunkett. Now, follow me!”
Beastie Buckfast - CrawCrafts BeastiesFinding the perfect picnic spot isn’t always easy, but remembering that the monks built an entire Abbey using the most rudimentary equipment, the lads figured they could probably manage a short flight of steps.
Passing the Buckfast - CrawCrafts Beasties“Nearly there! Aha, this looks perfect!”
The Perfect Spot for a Boozy Lunch - CrawCrafts BeastiesOf course, Paddy was first to take a hearty glug from the bottle… I think we can all see where this is going.
Paddy Samples some Buckfast - CrawCrafts BeastiesThen again, Plunkett doesn’t look too steady on his feet either! This is potent stuff!
Plunkett, A Little the Worse for Wear - CrawCrafts Beasties“Paddy, you are my bessshhht friend…”

Uh-oh, he’s away.
Plunkett Falls For Buckfast - CrawCrafts BeastiesQuick, Paddy! Help him up! But carefully now, in case you…
Buckfast Takes its Toll - CrawCrafts Beasties… Fall over.

Oh well, I suppose we’d better leave them to sleep it off! There’s a lesson here about enjoying your fortified wines responsibly – especially if you’re only 5 and a half inches tall.

And how about you lot? Have you tried any interesting or unusual elixirs lately? Be sure to tell us all about it in the comments!

Paddy and Plunkett have a Picnic - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

A Quiet Stroll in the Countryside… Or is it?

Paddy, Plunkett and some late Bluebells - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesAt last! The sun has broken through the clouds and it feels like summer again! Not that it matters to Paddy and Plunkett, whose extended holiday is still ongoing… let’s find out where they are today!
Paddy Admires the View - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesIt certainly seems nice and peaceful, anyway. And look, Paddy’s spotted some distant Beastie relatives – well, they are all made of wool, right?
Proto-Beasties? H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesBut all is not as it seems!

“Hey Plunkett, what’s that building up there?”
Paddy and Plunkett Catch a Glimpse of English History - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Glad you asked, Paddy – I’ve been reading up on this! That’s part of the remains of Battle Abbey. Can you believe that we’re standing on what is believed to be the site of the Battle of Hastings? Look, there’s a stone slab here to mark the spot where the English leader King Harold is supposed to have fallen!”
Professor Plunkett Takes a History Lesson - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Yikes! What happened to King Harold?”

“Arrow through the eye, apparently – the famous Bayeux Tapestry captured the whole thing…”

The Death of King Harold at the Battle of Hastings - Photo from historytoday.com
The Death of King Harold at the Battle of Hastings – Photo from historytoday.com

“In fact, Paddy, forget what you’ve been seeing on Game of Thrones lately… The Battle of Hastings was a pretty gruesome episode in English history! Casualties on both sides were so numerous that the leader of the victorious invading Norman army, who later became known as William the Conqueror, was ordered by Pope Alexander II to atone for this immense loss of life. So he built a church here – it was finished in around 1094.  Then in the late 13th century, it was remodelled into Battle Abbey.”

“Wow, that’s some history! How on earth do we follow that?”

“How about some lunch?”

“Good thinking, Plunkett!”
Paddy and Plunkett have a Picnic - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties