There are records of a monastic community existing in Buckfastleigh, Devon since the year 1018. It grew successfully until the year 1539, when the Abbey was dissolved. In France in the late nineteenth century, anti-clerical laws brought about severe attacks upon the Catholic Church. A group of Benedictine monks near Dijon were forced out of their Abbey, they fled France and went to Dublin. In the early 1880’s the French monks heard that the property of Buckfast Abbey was on the market and in 1882 they acquired it and moved to Devon. Buckfast Abbey was then completely rebuilt solely by the monks who lived and worked there. The work took 32 years and was finally completed in 1938.The monks at Buckfast Abbey made a living by producing liniments and medicines. In 1897, the nephew of a French monk visited the Abbey, bringing with him a recipe for Tonic Wine. And so began the tradition of winemaking at Buckfast Abbey, using the secret recipe which has stood the test of time. Buckfast Tonic Wine continues to be produced at Buckfast Abbey to this very day. Buckfast Abbey celebrated its millennium in 2018.