Antiques Roadshow at Buckfast Abbey

Buckfast Abbey will welcome BBC Antiques Roadshow on Thursday 13th September from 9.30am – 4.30pm.

Fiona Bruce and the team will be waiting to find out more about Devon’s beloved treasures and family heirlooms, find out the hidden stories behind the items and offer free advice and valuation.

The roadshow will be held in the grounds of the historic Buckfast Abbey, which this year celebrates 1000 years of history having been founded in 1018. The current Abbey Church was rebuilt by hand by the monks themselves at the start of the 20th Century on the original mediaeval foundations.

In an interview with Fiona Bruce, she said: “I feel incredibly
lucky to have spent the last ten years working on the Antiques Roadshow. I love doing it and I’ve had so many highlights from over the years.

‘My personal favourite would probably have to be when a man of the cloth turned up with a painting, which he thought might be a Van Dyck. I looked at it – and I was making a programme about Van Dyck at the time – and I thought it had the look of the genuine article. So we had it examined and my hunch turned out to be right.

‘It has been proven to be the case and it is now being exhibited as a Van Dyck. I can’t imagine that will ever happen to me again in my lifetime and it’s definitely a highlight for me.

‘I think it’s amazing that the Antiques Roadshow is essentially the same as it has been for 40 years and it’s still hugely popular. What makes it eternally popular is probably what I love about it – that we all hope that we could have something gathering dust on the mantelpiece or in the attic that either turns out to be very valuable, or has an amazing story. It happens week-in, week-out and you’d think that the world would begin to run dry and it hasn’t. We still find amazing things every week.

‘I’ve certainly learnt more about antiques. I have my own collections. I have paintings. I collect things called “samplers” which are Victorian pieces of needlework usually done by children in a workhouse to show that they have a skill which can be used in service, stitching household linen or that kind of thing.

‘I think they’re very humble and very beautiful. But our experts are like walking Wikipedias! They’re incredible. And they just fish knowledge out of their brains which is a marvel to behold.”

Wendy Hall from Buckfast Abbey, commented, “We’re all really looking forward to having Antiques Roadshow join us in September. Historically, it’s such an important year for Buckfast Abbey, so it will be great to share this with visitors to the roadshow and welcome new people to the abbey.”

Robert Murphy, series producer of Antiques Roadshow, said, “We are looking forward to welcoming thousands of visitors when we bring Antiques Roadshow to Buckfast Abbey.

‘It promises to be a spectacular backdrop for a memorable show and we’re looking forward to seeing cherished objects and hearing personal stories from the people of Devon and beyond.”

Presenter, Fiona Bruce explains, “Can this year be even better than our last? We’ll have to go some way to top the most valuable Faberge ever seen on the programme, a correction to Darwin’s theory of evolution by the great man himself and one of the best collections of show business memorabilia ever seen by our experts.

‘But I have every confidence we’ll do it and the thousands of people that come along to see us will pull some extraordinary things out of their bags/trolleys/bits of newspaper/suitcases/boats – and one year even out of a cart led by a dog. I can’t wait.”

Entry to the roadshow and parking is free, everyone is welcome, and no tickets or pre-registration is required. Visitors are welcome to bring their items on the day.

Stuart Clarke

Author: Stuart Clarke

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