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Calder Abbey, Cumbria

Photo by Simon Ledingham courtesy Geograph.org.uk The ruins of Calder Abbey–parts of a tower and west doorway–are found on the edge of the village of Calder Bridge. The ruins are attached to the Grade I listed Calder Abbey House.

The abbey was founded in 1134 by Ranulph de Meschines, for monks of the Cistercian order. It acquired as part of its property the churches of St. John Baptist at Beckermet and St. Michael at Arlecdon in 1262.

Photo by Humphrey Bolton courtesy Geograph.org.uk The abbey didn't last long as it was burned by border raiders from Scotland. The monks left and went to Yorkshire where they founded Byland abbey. In 1180, and again in 1220, rebuilding was begun, but the border raiders struck again. In 1332 the abbey was restored but in 1536 Henry VIII closed it as he did with all abbeys and gave the property in 1538 to one of his commissioners, Thomas Leigh.Calder Abbey by Humphrey Bolton Geograph

The church at the abbey was in the form of a church with north and south transepts. In the north transept were three effigies of knights in armour. One is supposedly that of Sir John le Fleming, a benefactor of the abbey. The upper chambers had a range of windows. There was a small cloister.

Calder Abbey is on a minor road off the A595 and north of Calder Bridge village. The abbey is on private land.

Photos by of Simon Ledingham and Humphrey Bolton courtesy Geograph.org.uk

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