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Shap Abbey, Shap, Cumbria

Shap Abbey, Shap, Cumbria
Photograph taken 02 October 2006 © Source Historic England Archive Photo Library ref: N060177

This is a reconstruction drawing of Shap Abbey by Liam Wales. It was a Premonstratensian monastery. The Premonstratensian order was founded in the 1120s. Like the Cistercians, Premonstratensian canons wore white habits and built their monasteries in remote places. Shap Abbey was founded in about 1200 by a local baron called Thomas, son of Gospatric, who granted the canons land beside the River Lowther. A walled precinct with an outer gatehouse enclosed the monastic buildings, abbey mill and fishponds. The land was granted to the Governor of Carlisle in 1540 following King Henry VIII's suppression of the abbey and the eviction of its canons. Some of the main monastic buildings were re-used as a farm, but most were gradually dismantled and the materials re-used. This site is now in the care of English Heritage (2010). Find out more