Christmas opens at Buckland Abbey with an 8m high tree made out of 20,000 pine cones

Mary Youlden's picture
Authored by Mary Youlden
Posted Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - 11:48am

The doors to the Great Barn at Buckland Abbey have swung open this weekend to reveal a Christmas tree with a twist. Visitors to this National Trust property near Tavistock found a dramatic display of 20,000 pine cones that have been lovingly assembled by visitors, local scout groups and volunteers to create a unique festive display inspired by the natural world. The Christmas tree, along with other festive events, will be on display every day until 1 January 2019 (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day).

James Breslin, House and Estate Visitor Experience Manager, explained: ‘We wanted Christmas at Buckland Abbey to be a celebration of the stories of the abbey in a creative, inspirational and magical fashion. The Great Barn is an impressive space for such a thing and so the idea for a different take on a traditional Christmas tree was bought to life.’

James continued, ‘We will also be stepping back in time to an Elizabethan style Christmas with cooking in the kitchen, decorations throughout the abbey and the traditional Lord of Misrule causing mischief. It is a Christmas not to be missed.’

The house has been transformed into an Elizabethan home of feast and festivity for Christmas. Local groups from the National Association of Flower Arranging Societies (NAFAS) have created impressive floral displays centered on Sir Francis Drake’s circumnavigation of the world and around the sights and the smells of Christmases abroad and at home. Tudor cooks will also be in the kitchen on weekends in December, filling the air with the scent of herbs and spices creating food from the time.

As well as this, the ‘Lord of Misrule’ will be returning on weekends in December to tell Christmas tales of life on the high seas (booking essential). This has been inspired by Sir Francis Drake’s travels in 1577 when the crew appointed their own ‘Lord of Misrule’ to manage the festive fun and games while they celebrated miles from home at sea in Morocco.

For more details on Christmas at Buckland Abbey please visit