Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Allerdale (District Authority)
Holme Abbey
National Grid Reference:
NY 17716 50818


NY 15 SE HOLME ABBEY Abbeytown

6/10 Church of St Mary

11/4/67 G.V. I

Cistercian Abbey now Parish Church. Founded 1150 with early C16 addition and alterations dated 1730; 1884-5 vestry and 1913 restoration; 1973 ambulatory. Large blocks of red sandstone (brought across the Solway from Scotland). Graduated greenslate roof, Welsh slate on porch and vestry. West porch and ambulatory extension; 6-bay nave/chancel, formerly the nave of the Abbey Church (originally of 9 bays) with aisles removed; west twin bellcote and north vestry/organ chamber. 2-storey porch has round arch with Latin inscription to Robert Chambers, Abbot 1507 and his coat of arms. Upper floor rebuilt to form vestry, dated 1730 with Latin inscription. 2-light lancet windows flank inscription. Flanking statue recesses of 1507 appearance; the right one has door giving access to small chamber. Ambulatory to right, linking with adjoining library and shop, has lead-paned windows in chamfered surrounds. Side walls of nave of 1730 have round-headed casement windows with glazing bars on 2 levels. West wall projects at either side and has been stepped to give the appearance of buttresses. Perpendicular east window c1604, moved to its present location in 1730, flanked by former nave aisle columns. Interior of porch and ambulatory have grave slabs to various abbots and members of the Chambers family of Raby Cote. Heavily moulded west portal with 4 orders of shaft columns and enriched waterleaf capitals. Interior: arcades have piers of clustered columns, with waterleaf capitals, and pointed arches now blocked to form north and south walls. Pre-Reformation open timber roof moved to a lower level in c1604. Restoration dated MCMXIII on corbel. Norman gallery at west end now gives access to former vestry. Royal Arms of Queen Victoria. Free-standing bust of Joseph Saul by Joshua Anderson. Jacobean carved oak chair and 2 C15 or early C16 oak muniment chests. C20 furnishings and fittings. Late C19 and early C20 stained glass. After the Dissolution the Abbey was granted to Oxford University. See G.E. Gilbanks, Some Records of A Cistercian Abbey/Holme Cultram, Cumberlands, 1899; F. Grainger and W.G. Collingwood, The Register & Records of Holme Cultram, 1929; Transactions Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaenlogical Society, old series, i, p263; new series, vii, pp262-268; xiii, pp244-251.

Listing NGR: NY1771550817


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Gilbanks, G E , Some Records of A Cistercian Abbey Holme Cultram Cumberland, (1899)
Grainger, , Collingwood, , The Register and Records of Holme Cultram, (1929)
'Transactions Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society' in Transactions Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 1, (), 263
'Transactions Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society' in Transactions Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 1, (), 262-268
'Transactions Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society' in Transactions Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 1, (), 244-251


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 18 Jun 2002
Reference: IOE01/07776/04
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Peter Messenger. Source Historic England Archive
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