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Shap Abbey near Haweswater

Shap Abbey near Shap and Haweswater Reservoir.
The ruins of Shap Abbey.

Shap Abbey
Nearest Town: Penrith.
Location: NY548152, Sheet 90.

Welcome to the EDGE Guide to Shap Abbey. 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.

Shap Abbey

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 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.

Map of Cumbria and the Lake District.

Take tme to visit the Abbey when visiting nearby Haweswater.