The ruins of the abbey from an 1829 engraving from "Peacock's Polite Repository"
House & Family History: Founded in 1123 by Stephen, Count of Boulogne, Furness Abbey was once one of the wealthiest and most powerful Cistercian monasteries in England, second only to Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire. Furness was dissolved in 1537 as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries and is today a ruin. The abbey has been a popular tourist attraction for centuries and has had many famous visitors, including J.M.W. Turner, who made many etchings of Furness, and William Wordsworth, a frequent visitor who referred to it in his famous 1805 autobiographical poem "The Prelude." For a time in the early 19th century parts of the abbey were converted into a private home.
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Not Listed
Past Seat / Home of: Lord Frederick Cavendish, 19th century.
Current Ownership Type: English Heritage
Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction
House Open to Public: Yes
Historic Houses Member: No