Drawing 151: Cartmel Priory
Direction of view: N
Notes: This will be best in mid afternoon, to get sunlight on both faces of the Priory. The viewpoint is in the part of the churchyard which is fenced off, but can be accessed through a small gate. It currently isn’t possible to take the shot exactly from AW’s viewpoint, due to a spreading beech tree which now obscures the Priory from that location.
The only other place in Wainwright’s published works where this picture appears is on page 168 of Wainwright in Lakeland. As always with that volume, it is another print of the same original drawing.
Comments: On 2nd June 1990, Peter Messenger and I decided to do a section of the Furness Way walk from Cartmel to Lowick Green. After leaving one car at the Farmer’s Arms pub we drove to Cartmel and waited for good conditions for this picture (image 1) whilst we had our packed lunch. We also got the photo of the Old Gatehouse (204), and made a very late start on the walk – 2.20pm!
Late in the afternoon of Sunday 26th August 2012, on my way back from a walk on Humphrey Head, I stopped off to get a digital photo of the priory (image 2). Cartmel was buzzing with people, as it was the bank holiday weekend, and the races were taking place next day.
Wainwright notes that Cartmel Priory was founded in 1188 (in fact it was 1189 by William Marshal) as an independent monastic institution, but for the use also of the people. It was therefore spared destruction in the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It was extensively restored between 1827 and 1870, following much neglect. It is a Grade I listed building, and is the parish church of Cartmel.