SD2171 : Furness Abbey - Nave and Transepts

taken 4 years ago, near to Newton, Cumbria, Great Britain

Furness Abbey - Nave and Transepts
Furness Abbey - Nave and Transepts
Little remains of the nave of the great abbey church at Furness, the grassed area seen here being the floor with the stumps of pillars to the left and low wall to the right being the only remaining masonry.
Ahead however are the much more substantial remains of the Transepts with the North to the left and South to the right of the central arch marking the Crossing, with the Presbytery and eastern end of the church (originally containing the High altar) leading on from this.
Due to the perilous state of this section of the ruin, which is shored up with huge steel reinforcements, the public is not allowed access to it at present, though most of the rest of the abbey complex can be freely explored.
See shared description below for information on the abbey with relevant links.
Furness Abbey
Furness Abbey was the first Savignac Abbey to be founded in Britain. Though originally founded at Tulketh near Preston, three years later in 1127 the monks moved here to Beckansgill near Barrow and built their great abbey. Its founder was Stephen, Count of Blois who was later to become King Stephen (bn.c.1096 r.1135-1154)
After only 20 years, in 1147, the Savignac Order merged with the Cistercian Order. The abbey grew wealthy from acquisitions of land in the Lake District and in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. The development of the harbour at Piel and construction of the castle there led to land being obtained in Ireland and on the Isle of Man.
All this wealth came to an abrupt end during the reign of Henry VIII however with Furness Abbey being dissolved on the 9th April 1537. The Deed of Surrender was signed in the Chapter House in the presence of the last abbot, Roger Pele; the prior; 28 monks and eight other witnesses, including two knights and a priest.
The Abbey was built of local Red Sandstone. The remains can be categorised into several building phases:
I (1127-1170) The Transepts of the church; The West Range and primary Reredorter
II (Later C12th) The Nave and SW reredorter
III (Early C13th) The East Range
IV (Mid C13th) The Chapter House and link to East Range; The Cloister; The Fraters to the south of the Cloister; The Hall of the Abbot's House
V (Late C13th) The Infirmary; The Kitchen; East Penticle western wall
VI (C14th) The Guest House; Extensions to Abbot's House; Cemetery Wall and Gatehouse; Stable Block
VII (C15th/16th) The West Tower; West Court Building; Eastern end of the church (Presbytery / Quire) and associated Chapels; Extension to Abbot's House.

The Abbey is a Scheduled Ancient Monument containing many listed buildings.
Useful links:
EH Ancient Monument listing LinkExternal link
EH (Visitor information) LinkExternal link
Visit Cumbria LinkExternal link LinkExternal link
British History Online LinkExternal link
Wikipedia LinkExternal link
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Rob Farrow and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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SD2171, 93 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Saturday, 19 October, 2013   (more nearby)
Monday, 21 October, 2013
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Village, Rural settlement  Religious sites 
Ruin (from Tags)
Place (from Tags)
Barrow in Furness 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 218 717 [100m precision]
WGS84: 54:8.1479N 3:11.9026W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 217 717
View Direction
East-northeast (about 67 degrees)
Looking for a postcode? Try this pageExternal link
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Other Tags
Furness Abbey 

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Image classification(about): Geograph
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