Loading a Gallery of Photos

Shap Abbey, England


These photos from "modern day Shap" were contributed
by two friends of our Order, Harry and Dawn.
We thank them both!

shap-101.jpg (37947 bytes)

Shap, aerial photograph, with the bell tower of the church at lower left center, nave stretching toward mid center of the photograph.  Farm buildings which cover part of the living area of the monastery are at right..

shap-145.jpg (42947 bytes)

Shap, 18th century sketch showing what original structure may have looked like.

shap-144.jpg (37144 bytes)

Engraving showing the existing structure in mid-eighteenth century. shap-23.jpg (32059 bytes)

This is Shap, a view from the west.  The tower, which is out of proportion to the rest of the site, is ascribed to Bishop Richard Redman, and has similar features to the tower of the Cistercian house of Fountains, built in the same period (1470-1500).  The farm to the right (where the cars are parked) incorporate some of the original domestic buildings of the house.   Behind the abbey is the River Lowther, shaded by trees.  The village of Shap lies approximately one mile over the ridge in the distance.  Behind the photographer, the fields have many traces of banks and walls associated with the abbey.  The eastern precinct wall, which is visible in the tree line just below the ridge (photo center) survives to a height of 1 meter. 

shap-102.jpg (13955 bytes)

A view from the southeastern corner of the ruins.  The monastic walls are apparent in the foreground, with the nave in the distance ar right.  The Stations for the Sunday processions survive, incised into the flagged floor of the aisles!

shap-103.jpg (20367 bytes)

A view taken from the area of the High Altar in the Abbey Church, showing the monumental scale of the tower. 

shap-104.jpg (18457 bytes)

View of the Church bell tower from the north (near the car park), with a flock of sheep wandering down the farm road toward the river Lowther, in the foreground.  There is a footpath to the right of this photograph, which should be taken, since the sheep aggressively assert ownership of the farm road! shap-01.jpg (16337 bytes)
Upper window of the bell tower as seen from the west wall (exterior) of the Abbey Church bell tower - - Niche below window almost certainly would have held statue of the Abbey's Patroness, St. Mary Magdalene.  shap-34.jpg (26084 bytes)
Bell tower west wall, showing slit windows and settling crack. shap-32.jpg (24846 bytes)
Detail of photo above, west wall of bell tower, showing slit window and the settling crack. shap-31.jpg (26326 bytes)
Window tracery, west wall, bell tower. shap-33.jpg (27240 bytes)
Detail of the north side of the bell tower, showing a significant settling crack due to the removal of supporting Abbey Church walls / structures. shap-24.jpg (21679 bytes)
Buttress on the northeast corner of the Bell Tower. shap-25.jpg (18336 bytes)
Bell tower from southeast. shap-42.jpg (17070 bytes)
Bell tower as it looks today from the Calidarium (warming room) and Chapter House. shap-12.jpg (18388 bytes)
Nave, looking from point of entry under/through the Bell Tower toward the High Altar / Sanctuary area in the distance.   The river Lowther is immediately on the farther side of the High Altar area. shap-05.jpg (25787 bytes)
Recessed pediment area around one of the great columns at the trancept of the Abbey Church (possibly for flood control).   shap-02.jpg (34595 bytes)
View of Nave area of the Abbey Church from just north of the Bell Tower. shap-03.jpg (28231 bytes)
View of the Sanctuary / High Altar area from the intersect of the south trancept with the Nave.   shap-19.jpg (28643 bytes)
Closeup of the Sanctuary / High Altar area.  Thomas Gospatric's grave is at left. shap-17.jpg (28109 bytes)
Almost certainly the grave of Thomas Gospatric, Patron of the Abbey, located on the "Epistle side" of the Sanctuary / High Altar area.    shap-20.jpg (33441 bytes)
Wider view of a commemorative chaplet within the Abbey Church. shap-14.jpg (35197 bytes)
Another Commemorative Chaplet within the Abbey Church.  shap-15.jpg (30656 bytes)
Base of a commemorative sidealtar in the Abbey Church. shap-11.jpg (34289 bytes)
Looking from the High Altar area back toward the rear of the Abbey Church and it's bell tower. shap-16.jpg (14582 bytes)
Detail of the Bell Tower from the inside.  Note roof line and also the cracks in the stonework -- indicative of some settling due to the removal of supporting Abbey Church stonework / stone walls. shap-06.jpg (27127 bytes)
Bell tower detail:  Loft window, as seen from the interior of the bell tower. shap-28.jpg (21576 bytes)
Doorway leading to interior bell tower passage leading to bell floor. shap-29.jpg (25116 bytes)
Bell tower detail:  upper door of passageway leading to bell floor. shap-30.jpg (33646 bytes)
More evidence of intricate stonework in the Abbey Church.  Facing stone was hewn in a trapizoidal / triangular manner and fitted into the Church. shap-08.jpg (30840 bytes)
Weight bearing walls of the north trancept extending outward at their base, similar to many other Abbey Church constructions. shap-09.jpg (32271 bytes)
Foundation lip on the outside wall base of the Abbey Church. shap-10.jpg (34291 bytes)
Grave within the north trancept of the Abbey Church. shap-13.jpg (35504 bytes)
View of the north trancept from the south trancept. shap-18.jpg (19651 bytes)
Exterior, north side of Nave, showing the fine stone work fitting of the exterior Abbey Church wall. shap-35.jpg (32823 bytes)
Closeup of the above Abbey Church wall.  shap-37.jpg (26695 bytes)
Another indication of the presence of fine stonemasons in the area -- Facing lip on exterior north side of north trancept. shap-21.jpg (30467 bytes)
More fine stonework at this Abbey!  Close up photo of the exterior lip, north side Abbey Church wall.     shap-36.jpg (28458 bytes)
Wide view of the undercrofting to both the Calidarium (at right) and the Chapter house (forward).    shap-22.jpg (29603 bytes)
Closeup of the grave in the undercroft of the Chapter House.  shap-39.jpg (33776 bytes)
Cloister area taken from the Northwest. shap-04.jpg (26699 bytes)
Cloister area from southwest, with Cellarers rooms at upper left, nave at extreme center and right.  shap-40.jpg (26724 bytes)
The cellarer's rooms are just to the south at the west end of the Abbey church. shap-48.jpg (28453 bytes)
The steps leading from the cellarers rooms to the Abbey Church / Cloister area.  shap-49.jpg (28618 bytes)
Chapter house, wide view. shap-43.jpg (32630 bytes)
Chapter House area.  shap-41.jpg (30788 bytes)
Pillar base detail, undercroft of the Chapter House. shap-27.jpg (31119 bytes)
Pillar base detail, undercroft of the Chapter House.  shap-26.jpg (31338 bytes)
Less well constructed stonework of domestic rooms.  shap-44.jpg (36511 bytes)
Pillar base, Calidarium.  shap-38.jpg (32733 bytes)
The river Lowther flows less than 20 feet from the walls of the Abbey Church.  shap-46.jpg (32699 bytes)
Yet another view of the river Lowther in full flow (November, 2000), showing its proximity to the Abbey walls.   These walls are of the Calidarium and Chapter House, which directly abut the Church.  shap-47.jpg (31703 bytes)