Holme Cultram Abbey – destroyed by fire on friday 9th June 2006

Location : Abbeytown
Ordnance Survey – NY 177508
 
On Friday afternoon 9th June 2006, local youths set fire to Holme Cultram Abbey in the village of Abbeytown.
 

Just after the fire. Photos by Mike Faulkner

Just after the fire. Photo by Mike Faulkner

 
The fabric in the vestry was the first to go up in flames. This then spread very quickly to the roof timbers, and in about an hour the whole roof had collapsed into the aisle and pews.
 
Just after the fire. Photo by Mike Faulkner

Just after the fire. Photo by Mike Faulkner

 
The organ, which was quite large was totally destroyed. Most of the stained glass survived.
 
Clergy at Holme Cultram in Cumbria, which was built in 1158 and gave its name to nearby Abbeytown, said the country had lost “an ecclesiastical gem” as well as irreplaceable records dating back to medieval times.
 
Just after the fire. Photo by Simon Ledingham

Just after the fire. Photo by Simon Ledingham

 
 
Local News :

Arsonist Shane Walker was sentenced to four years in jail on November 7th 2006 for starting the blaze which destroyed the historic abbey.
 
The Carlisle Crown Court judge John Phillips told the 17-year-old: “Not only have you destroyed a national treasure – you have also severely damaged an entire community.”
 
Walker had earlier pleaded guilty to stealing £5 from a collection box at Holme Cultram Abbey and recklessly starting the fire that destroyed the abbey on June 9. See link below for more on this.
 
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See a short video before the fire :

 
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