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Furness Abbey Presbytery, Furness Abbey Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. Archaeological Evaluation.

Bradley, Jeremy (2009) Furness Abbey Presbytery, Furness Abbey Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. Archaeological Evaluation. Project Report. Oxford Archaeology North. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

English Heritage requested that Oxford Archaeology North (OA North) undertake an archaeological investigation at the site of Furness Abbey, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria (NGR centred SD 2182 7179). The abbey ruins are a Scheduled Monument (SM13572), and open to visitors. The investigation took place within the abbey cemetery immediately to the east of the ruins of the presbytery, the eastern arm of the abbey church, the walls of which remain to almost full height. Major structural cracks have appeared, running from top to bottom, of the north and south walls of the presbytery. The cause of the shift in structure is unknown; one possibility is that there is a difference in foundations between the mid- to late-twelfth century masonry of the original presbytery and a later fifteenth century extension to it; or it may be due to underlying geological or archaeological features causing differential settlement in the structure. During repair work in the 1920s it was discovered that the foundations consisted of oak piles, and many of the walls suffered sinkage due to insufficient foundations, as seen currently in the presbytery walls. Furness Abbey, originally the abbey of St Mary of Furness, was the first proper and most important foundation of the Savigniac Order of the British Isles. The newly established congregation had started in northern France at Savigny in Mortain. In 1124, a group of Savigniac monks was invited by Stephen, then Count of Boulogne and Mortain and later King of England, to settle at Tulketh (near Preston). After three years the establishment was abandoned and relocated to the secluded valley of Bekansgill in Furness, where the abbey was founded. For over 400 years, the abbey enjoyed substantial wealth, privileges and possessions and had a major influence on regional and national affairs.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Cumbria
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
ID Code:4466
Deposited By: Parsons
Deposited On:01 Nov 2018 14:24
Last Modified:01 Nov 2018 14:24

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