AMBITIOUS plans have been outlined to protect and open up the archaeological remains in Tavistock.

Heritage and community groups in the town are discussing how best to preserve Betsy Grimbal’s Tower which is deteriorating, the Still House and the wider remains of Tavistock Abbey.

Devon Historic Buildings Trust (DHBT), Tavistock Heritage Trust and the town council have been looking at the best way to safeguard the abbey remains and open them up in various ways to the public.

The major ideas, which need funding from bodies such as the National Lottery Fund (NHLF), are to agree long-term conservation methods, repair and restore Grimbal’s Tower and the Still House for viewing by the public and provide visual and digital interpretation of the abby for visitors and for education.

Betsy Grimbal's Tower (Tindle)

Other key aspects are to carry out a geophysical survey of the parish churchyard, of Plymouth Road, Bedford Square and the area where the former abbey stood from which a 3-D interpretation can be made. There are abbey remains inside Betsy Grimbal’s Tower which need restoring and housing for the long term. A community survey, under the direction of an archaeologist, to find the level of the original floor of the tower is also an idea. A short history book on the abbey and a community project to find, so far, unknown remains of the abbey are also suggestions.

The project would be overseen by a group comprising local experts in agreement with the council and St Eustaschius Church.