Furness Abbey lies directly behind Abbey House Hotel and can be accessed by a small pathway leading from the hotel grounds. Its grand architecture and majestic form are definitely worth a visit whilst in Barrow.
Furness Abbey is in close proximity to Barrow's main street: Abbey Road, which is named after the Abbey itself. The Abbey also lies right next to the Furness Branch Line; it used to have a station, although the building remains the platform is long gone. Were the Abbey still to have its train station it would be unlikely that it would be used by the majority of trains, and maybe only used by selected ones, this is because no one lives there and it is a tourist attraction. The closest stations are now Roose, Dalton and Barrow Central. There is a small airport on Walney Island, but for international as well as domestic flights the nearest airports are in Blackpool and Manchester.
The Abbey of St. Mary of Furnesia, a magnificent ruin of a vast and imposing building constructed in the distinctive local red sandstone and set in the deep, wooded valley of Bekansgill.
The Abbey was founded in 1127 on land granted by King Stephen to the Abbot of Savigny in Normandy. The governing monastic order was originally Savigniac, but by order of the Abbot of Savigny the Abbey became Cistercian in 1148. Benefiting from the architectural and agricultural abilities of the Cistercian monks, the power and wealth of the Abbey grew and by the 12th Century was unchallenged throughout Furness.
With the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1537, the lead roof from the Abbey was removed and melted down and the walls partly demolished. The building shows a mixture of styles from several periods, as the Abbey would have been built, extended and rebuilt throughout its life. The Abbey owned by English Heritage is open to the public tel: 01229 823420.
The Abbey is open Thursday to Monday (closed Tuesday and Wednesday) 10 am - 5 pm last admission 4.30 pm. During the summer months of July and August the Abbey will be open 7 days a week.
You can read about the Abbey and the surrounding area by clicking here.