Lanercost Priory is a beautiful symbol of northern monastic heritage. Established in 1169, it has had a long and at times difficult history. The Priory expanded under ecclesiastical control through to the 16th century. Closely located to Hadrian’s Wall, Lanercost Priory repeatedly became involved in skirmishes between English and Scottish forces. Most notably, William Wallace’s forces attacked the priory in 1296. For 5 months in 1306-1307, Edward I stayed at Lanercost Priory after he fell ill and was unable to continue war in Scotland.
The Dacre family provided financial support from 1487. Unfortunately, over the following centuries, the priory fell into poverty and disrepair. After the dissolution of the monasteries in the mid-16th century, the grounds fell into ruin. Only a small section of the west cloisters was maintained and converted into the surviving Dacre Hall. However, the priory has been renovated repeatedly in the last 150 years. Now visitors can enjoy the grounds and take in beautifully crafted stained glass windows, Roman stonework, and the tombs of the many residents over the years.
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Things to See and Do:
- Lanercost Tearoom and Farm shop.
- A gift shop selling a range of English Heritage souvenirs and books.
- Walk the grounds to view the impressive arches and ruins of the priory.
- The tombs of Lanercost Priory patrons and their family including the terracotta effigy of 4-month old Elizabeth Dacre Howard.
- Roman stonework and alters.
The site is somewhat wheelchair friendly but the terrain can be uneven and difficult to traverse. there are accessible toilets available and assistance dogs are welcome. There are also several flights of stairs on the property.
Braille guides are available upon request.
Lanercost Priory has a car park with limited spaces. There is additional parking at the tearooms near the entrance.
For more information on accessibility, please click here.
Curious about Hadrian’s Wall? Visit Birdoswald Roman Fort!