In 1834, Augustus Smith left Hertfordshire and took up residence on the Isles of Scilly as Lord Proprietor and leaseholder of all the islands, choosing Tresco as his home… He selected a site adjacent to St Nicholas Priory – which had fallen into disrepair in the sixteenth century – to build his home. On a rocky outcrop above these ruins, Augustus Smith built his house, which he named Tresco Abbey. In addition to constructing the house, he started almost immediately creating a garden based around the priory ruins. In order to protect his early plantings from the winter gales, he built a series of walls around the garden. The garden then expanded across the south-facing hillside on a series of terraces carved from the granite subsoil.
Tresco Priory is a former monastic settlement on Tresco, Isles of Scilly founded in 946 AD. It was re-founded as the Priory of St Nicholas by monks from Tavistock Abbey in 1114. A charter of King Henry I mentions a priory as belonging to Tavistock Abbey in the reign of Edward the Confessor. . . The Priory did not survive the Dissolution of the Monasteries and may well have closed earlier. The remains of the priory are now incorporated into Tresco Abbey Gardens.
Tresco Abbey Gardens are located on the island of Tresco in the Isles of Scilly, United Kingdom. The 17 acre gardens were established by the nineteenth-century proprietor of the islands, Augustus Smith, originally as a private garden within the grounds of the home he designed and built. The gardens are designated at Grade I in the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.
Augustus Smith chose Tresco as the site of his home because the site was more or less central in relation to the rest of the islands. It is also close to the original abbey ruins, is near a fresh water pool and overlooks the sand dunes and beach at Carn Near. The area at the time was barren land and the original building, designed by Smith and started in 1835, was small in comparison to the current building. He made additions to the house in 1843 and 1861. The Grade II listed house consists of roughly coursed granite with ashlar dressings and a slate roof. Some of the timbers from the 1861 wreck of the Award were used for the panelling and roof of the new dining room, as well as panelling of the rooms Annet, Rosevean and Rosevear. His successor, Thomas Smith-Dorrien-Smith, added the tower in 1891.
Country house. Mostly of 1843 and 1861, with tower of 1891, for Augustus Smith and Thomas Algernon Dorrien Smith. Roughly coursed granite with ashlar dressings; slate roofs and granite ashlar stacks. Complex evolved plan: main square block with east tower, to east of west wing and south-west wing. 2 and 3 storeys. North elevation has 3-storey entrance bay between main block and west wing, with monogram AS and date 1843 over chamfered 4-centred arched doorway; this is flanked by a slender 3-storey tower with small windows