Medieval Abbeys and Monasteries in The Lake District
A profile of the Lake District, England, highlighting attractions, history, and visitor information. Medieval monastic sites in Cumbria and the Lake District.
Lake District Travel Guide - Abbeys & Monasteries
This page Cartmel Priory Gatehouse - Wetheral Priory
This solitary gatehouse the last remnant of a 12th century Augustinian priory. The priory suffered under raids from Scotland led by Robert the Bruce, and decided it needed a defensible gatehouse to guard against future attacks. Currently closed but the exterior is always accessible.
Furness Abbey was established in 1123 by Stephen, Count of Blois, later to become King Stephen I. Initially a Savignac monastery, Furness was later became a Cistercian house. The very extensive abbey ruins are set in a wonderful wooded valley very close to Barrow-in-Furness.
A 12th century Augustinian priory in a lovely wooded setting in north east Cumbria. priory in 1165. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries the north aisle became the parish church, but in 1740 the entire nave was re-roofed to enlarge the space. There is a collection of Roman altars and medieval carvings in the old monastic cellarium. Edward I stayed at Lanercost on his way north to invade Scotland in 1307. He died before he could reach Scotland, and a memorial to Edward now stands at Lanercost.
There were not many Premonstratensian monasteries established in England, but Shap is one. It was founded around 1200 in a remote setting on the south east corner of the Lake District. The bell tower still stands to its full height, but the rest of the abbey is reduced to low stone walls. The setting is utterly superb.
All that remains of a 12th century Benedictine Priory is a lovely red sandstone 3 story gatehouse dating from the 16th century. The gatehouse survived the Dissolution of the Monasteries because it was used as the parish vicarage. In the medieval period accused criminals could avoid punishment if they joined to fight the Scots here.
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