Lanercost Priory



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This Augustinian priory, founded in the 12th century, is worth a visit for its atmospheric ruins and sense of history. Part of the medieval settlement is in use as the village hall, part is cared for by English Heritage and can be visited, part has been converted to private dwellings, and the interior of the nave is intact and still in use as a parish church. Set in a tranquil rural landscape, surrounded by fields and close to Hadrian’s Wall, Lanercost is a magnificent and fascinating complex of historic buildings. It has been a place of worship for almost 850 years. But things have not always been as peaceful as they are now. Owing to its proximity to the Scottish border, the priory suffered during the Anglo-Scottish wars of the 14th century – in 1311 Robert Bruce himself raided it. The thick walls of the tower may well have been used for defence.

Lanercost Priory


  • Parking onsite
  • Facilities: Portable ramps to site
Opening times
  • Opening Times: Open Apr-Sep, daily 10-6; Oct, daily 10-5; Nov-19 Feb & 25 Feb-Mar, Sat-Sun 10-4; 20-24 Feb, daily 10-4 Closed 24-26 Dec & 1 Jan

About the area

Discover Cumbria

Cumbria's rugged yet beautiful landscape is best known for the Lake District National Park that sits within its boundaries. It’s famous for Lake Windermere, England’s largest lake, and Derwent Water, ‘Queen of the English Lakes'. This beautiful countryside once inspired William Wordsworth and his home, Dove Cottage, in Grasmere is a popular museum. Another place of literary pilgrimage is Hill Top, home of Beatrix Potter, located near Windermere. Tom Kitten, Samuel Whiskers and Jemima Puddleduck were all created here.

Much of Cumbria is often overlooked in favour of the Lake Distirct. In the south, the Lune Valley remains as lovely as it was when Turner painted it. The coast is also a secret gem. With its wide cobbled streets, spacious green and views of the Solway Firth, Silloth is a fine Victorian seaside resort. Other towns along this coastline include Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport. Carlisle is well worth a look – once a Roman camp, its red-brick cathedral dates back to the early 12th century and its 11th-century castle was built by William Rufus.

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