Shap Abbey, Shap

4.4
#6 of 14 in Historic Sites in Penrith
Shap Abbey was a monastic religious house of the Premonstratensian order on the western bank of the River Lowther in the civil parish of Shap Rural, around 1.5mi from the village of Shap, in the Eden District of Cumbria, England. The site is in the care of English Heritage and managed on its behalf by the Lake District National Park.
Although the present Shap Abbey was built in 1199, the monastic community was founded on another site 20 miles south near Kendal in 1190, but it moved to the present site, then called 'Hepp', in 1199. The old name meant 'a heap' but it gradually assumed the present-day name "Shap" over the next 100 years.
Shap Abbey escaped the initial phase of the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536, but it was closed in 1540 and subsequently sold to the Governor of Carlisle. Most of the abbey buildings have been demolished, however the tower remains are still impressive, and the outline of the building plan is clearly visible.
Masonry was robbed away at the end of the 17th century to build Shap Market Hall, and much of the ornate carved stonework was also removed and used in the building of Lowther Castle. Many of the monastic buildings were incorporated into a farmhouse and used as barns, and little has happened to these over the last four centuries as they have formed part of a working farm.
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Shap Abbey Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
133 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Take the time to seek this place out. When we visited there was an artist in place and he was happy for us to look at his painting. This wasn't a one off!  more »
  • Fantastic location and certainly well worth a visit. Some lovely walking and views around Abbey also.  more »
Google
  • Outstanding countryside with a good share of viewing points for walkers. The abbey's entrance is still standing and the grounds are exceptionally well taken care of. It's worth spending some time walking around it, trying to imagine how life was in this place.
  • Historical place with good preserved ruins of Abbey, easy access, easy walk for family stroll. Interesting place in nice area. Car park nearby for a few cars so car share is good option. good for family walk - short walk or when just passing through on the way - summer time, not sure about winter time and condition of the road if there is snow.
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