Holme Cultram Abbey

Following a fire, set by arsonists in 2006, the repairs to one of Cumbria's largest parish churches continues and the building is once again open to visitors, who are uplifted and captivated by its remarkable space.

About this church

This is not the first time this Cistercian monastery, founded in 1150 by David I of Scotland, has suffered.

In more turbulent times it was caught in the Anglo Scottish wars of the 14th century. But a good bit of luck followed the Dissolution of the Monasteries, when the local people successfully petitioned Thomas Cromwell to allow them to continue to use the church, partially as a refuge and defence against the Scots.

The rest of the abbey, however, fell into disrepair; bumps in the nearby field indicate the precinct remains, and regular archaeological excavations uncover fragments from the abbey's past.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

Other nearby churches


All Saints

The outward appearance is perpendicular but inside is something unique to English parish churches and was described by Nicholas Pevsner as ‘one of the architectural sensations of Cumberland’.


St Michael

In an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, adjacent to the hidden gem of the Solway Firth, St Michael’s offers the visitor a peaceful space for reflection, together with many points of historical interest.

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