Shap Abbey

Shap Abbey

Location : Shap  –  Grid Ref : NY 548153


Shap Abbey stands in a picturesque setting by the River Lowther, with nothing nearby to interrupt the beauty of the lonely and unfrequented site. It is about half a mile west of Shap.


It was built in 1199, the last Abbey to be founded in England, and the last to be dissolved by Henry VIII in 1540. It was founded by the Premonstratensian order, also known as the White Canons from the colour of their habits. Most of the buildings are 13th Century in origin, though the striking west tower is early 16th Century. The church, chapter house, dormitories, and cloisters are all much ruined. Stone was taken at the end of the 17th Century to build Shap Market Hall. Much of the carved stonework was also removed and used in the building of Lowther Castle.


A short path leads over fields to the small 16th Century Keld Chapel, now in the care of the National Trust.


Shap Abbey is in the care of English Heritage.




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