Faukon Abbey is an old market town in Devon, close to Dartmoor. It was originally built around a hunting castle and nunnery (priory). The prioress of the nunnery were into falconry. We have a nice old church, St Katherine’s, multiple shops, a bank, grocery stores and even a hardware store, two inns, a couple of pubs, a hotel and a couple of tea/coffee shops. We are known for our Annual Garden Arts fair (from gnomes to advanced art) in late August. Come and visit us soon!
The church, St Katherine’s, was originally built as a church for the Priory of St Katherine, which was a Benedictine priory for women (a nunnery) in Devon. The first prioress, Matilde, was a grand master of falconry. She had learned falconry from Henry II falconers. Matilde was a daughter of a baron; and at the Henry II court she tried to keep her virginity intact. She was just about to get molested when a falcon flew over her assailant’s head and she was able to run away. She then went on to found the priory in the deep woods of Devon, dedicating it to taking care of women (fallen ones especially, and healing them) as well as falconry, which was used to get money to the priory. The priory flourished although it was in a constant battle with the Pope, as the prioress insisted that she and the nuns could do all the same things as the monks could. The Pope sent monks from Sidmouth Priory to found a new monastery for men and appointed the prior in Sidmouth become an abbot to the new Faukon Abbey, to whom both the prior of St Michael’s and the prioress of the St Katherine’s were answerable. After the dissolution of monasteries in 1539, the only thing remaining of the monasteries is half of St Katharine’s church. The town which had grown around them remained as Faukon Abbey. Visit our local museum near St Katherine’s to learn more. The museum also has free maps of the area.
Where to Stay
There are two inns in town, “Bella Bella” just of the Castle Road towards Mulberry Hill, and “Whistle and Tin” near Town Hall. Levington’s Hotel is close to the Mason Woods area, convenient if you have business with the Gwedrow Faukon Glass Works.
Where to Eat
“Whistle and Tin” is known for their Fish and Chips, “Daily Cuppa Tea Room” serves excellent sandwiches and cakes, and for coffee you can’t beat “Mocha”.
What to Do
As Faukon Abbey is close to Dartmoor, there are multiple walking and hiking routes. Brannon Golf course offers 9 holes of challenging golfing as well as lessons in falconry.
To find out more about Faukon Abbey,
you can get the Faukon Abbey Companion booklet from Amazon
Or you can get it for FREE here.
Faukon Abbey only exists in my books, although hunting with falcons, falconry, has been practiced since medieval times and is practiced even today. While it is and was mostly practiced by men there were and are women master falconers.