SD2171 : Furness Abbey - Chapter House

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

Furness Abbey - Chapter House
Furness Abbey - Chapter House
The Chapter House of Furness Abbey dates from the early to mid C13th. Above each pair of lancets in the windows is an unusual roundel which is in six segments (rather like the pie in a game of Trivial Pursuit), each of these segments is decorated with an oak-leaf-like carving. I haven't seen anything like it elsewhere. The remains of several fluted columns can be seen in the middle of the floor.
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
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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  Religious sites 
Ruin (from Tags)
Place (from Tags)
Barrow in Furness 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 2183 7175 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:8.1374N 3:11.8748W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 2182 7175
View Direction
East-northeast (about 67 degrees)
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Furness Abbey 

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