Abbey was founded by a group of French monks in 1127 in the 'vale of nightshade'
on the Furness peninsula near Barrow.
It was to become second only to Fountains
Abbey in Yorkshire as the most important Cistercian monastery in the country.
the time of the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536, the Abbot surrendered
the Abbey to Henry VIII rather than face trial for treason.
Within a year
lead was being stripped from the Abbey's roof and the buildings were dismantled
even though the monks were still in residence.
The romantic ruins of the
abbey were celebrated by Wordsworth in his Prelude in 1805.
can see the remains of the east end and west tower of the church, the ornately
decorated chapter house and the cloister buildings as well as an exhibition about
the history of the abbey.