Drawing 76: Shap Abbey
Direction of view: W
Notes: Still looks exactly as drawn by AW. Light will be best late morning.
This scene also appears on page 380 of Westmorland Heritage, where the foreground in the sketch has been omitted.
Comments: 25th May 2013 was the last day of the Wainwright Society annual challenge, and after doing my walk – monitoring the route of the Coast to Coast Walk near Orton on a beautiful day – I drove down to Shap Abbey in the afternoon, only to discover I should have been there in the morning!
This called for another visit, which I made on 25th May 2017. It was a glorious morning, tempting me to go and get some photos for the project before tackling the rest of the day. It being Thursday, I was due at the County Archives in Kendal to work on cataloguing their collection of photos by Joseph Hardman (who also visited Shap Abbey with his camera). I got a good picture of the Abbey, and also of sketches 32, 81 and 115, so a rewarding morning.
Shap Abbey was founded in the late 12th century, one of 32 religious houses in Britain belonging to the Premonstratensian order of canons. After the Suppression of the Monasteries by Henry VIII (which reached Shap Abbey on 14 January 1540), parts of the abbey were incorporated into farm buildings. It is now in the care of English Heritage.