MURALS celebrating the seafaring adventures of Sir Francis Drake created in the 1950s have gone on show at Buckland Abbey for the first time in ten years.

The murals went up on Monday and visitors will be able to see and discover more about these paintings which were commissioned in the 1950s by Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery with the support of the Astor family. These sizeable works of art —from 1.4 to 4.8 metres wide — were created to commemorate the life of Buckland Abbey’s most famous resident .

They variously depict Drake’s ship, The Golden Hind, the route he took from Plymouth and circumnavigating the globe, the capturing of the Spanish flagship, The Nuestra Senora del Rosario, and the final victorious battles of the Armada.

Roland Pym was an established mural painter and set designer who undertook many large-scale commissions at the time.

Eleanor Hopkinson, visitor operations and experience manager, said ‘We are so excited to be able to once again share all four of these Pym murals. They are accessible and colourful pieces of art that show how the life of Sir Francis Drake was seen at the time they were painted. Visitors will once again be able to enjoy them, learn more about the history of their creation and to discover more about the art of Roland Pym and how the historic Armada maps were an influence on his work.’

The Buckland Abbey Collections & House team have been working extensively for the last few months to bring this display together, not seen for a decade.

There will also be activities in the Nave to encourage visitors to reflect on who they would like to commemorate.

Visitors can see the Pym murals on display in the Nave at Buckland Abbey until 29 October 2023. The Abbey is open from 11am–4.30pm daily. Admission is free for National Trust members; normal admission applies for non-members.