SD2171 : Furness Abbey - Reredorter

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

Furness Abbey - Reredorter
Furness Abbey - Reredorter
The Reredorter was situated adjoining the "dorter" where the monks slept, and was their communal latrine. The fast flowing stream carrying effluent away, as a kind of permanently flushing toilet.
This cunning plan had one flaw it seems to me, in that the waters of the stream then continue across the abbey complex to the kitchen and infirmary where the water (now somewhat polluted) was used for cooking and for tending the sick.
Note: "Reredorter" (pronounced rear-dorter) is a C19th term for this kind of latrine, at the time of its construction it would have been known as a "necessarium" - the place for necessary activities.
Cf. a similar arrangement at Fountains Abbey SE2768 : River Skell conduit, Fountains Abbey
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
FurnessAbbey.org.uk 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, 60 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Saturday, 19 October, 2013   (more nearby)
Submitted
Monday, 21 October, 2013
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Religious sites  Rivers, Streams, Drainage 
Ruin (from Tags)
Abbey 
Place (from Tags)
Barrow in Furness 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 2185 7173 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:8.1268N 3:11.8561W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 2185 7172
View Direction
Northwest (about 315 degrees)
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Other Tags
Furness Abbey  Reredorter 

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Image classification(about): Geograph
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