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 Cumbria Furness Abbey

St Mary of Furness was founded in 1123 by Stephen, later King of England. It originally belonged to the Order of Savigny, but passed, in 1147, to the Cistercians. They gradually rebuilt and enlarged the ornate church that the Savigniac order had built. This second church was itself remodelled in the 15th century. The church, set in the 'vale of deadly nightshade', has long been perceived as a very romantic building - Wordsworth visited the abbey on several occasions and referred to it in his Prelude of 1805. An exhibition on the history of the abbey, with a display of elaborately carved stones, can be seen in the visitor centre. (See also Bow Bridge)

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