THE EDGE
VACATION & HOLIDAY GUIDE TO
CUMBRIA & THE LAKE DISTRICT


Shap Abbey Cumbria
Shap Abbey Cumbria Lake District

 

Location:
OS ref
NY 548153
Sheet 90.
To the w of the
Eden Valley
under the Shap
Fells.

Nearest
Town:

Penrith
North on the
A6.
10mls/16km.

Kendal
SW on the A6.
15mls/25km.
Situated just over a mile west of the village of Shap this ruined Abbey can be found on the banks of the River Lowther. The remains are impressive but much of the Abbey's stone was taken for use on buildings in Shap, notably the market hall.

Founded in 1201 by Premonstratensian Canons from France it was built on land given by Thomas, son of Gospatric. The Abbey records have been lost but it is assumed that the west tower (seen above) is of the early 1500's. Many of the visible details date from the 13th, 14th, 15th and early 16th centuries, showing that there was a continuous program of improvement. The Abbey was never large and probably housed only about 12 Canons.

The Abbey was left abandoned after the Dissolution. The Canons were pensioned off rather handsomely in the case of the Abbot. Some of the stone was used to build the farm next door and some carved stones can be found in the dry stone wall seen in the foreground of the photograph above.

This is a peaceful and pleasant place to visit with provision for picnickers: it is a delightful spot to stop for lunch after visiting nearby Haweswater not far from the Abbey.

 

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Copyright EDGE 1997