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COCKERSAND ABBEY

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The remains of a Premonstratensian Abbey, surving as structures and earthworks, is located adjacent to the sea shore a short distance south of the mouth of the River Lune. The most visible remains are those of the 13th century chapter house, Listed Grade I, which survives by virtue of being renovated and reused as a family mausoleum from the mid-18th to the mid-19th centuries. Other upstanding fabric includes portions of the nave walls and the north and south transepts of the abbey church, together with various scattered fragments of masonry. Numerous earthworks survive and represent buried walls and buildings. Hugh Garthe settled at Cockersand around 1180 and founded a hermitage. Documentary sources indicate that by about 1184 this had become a hospital and that by about 1189 it was a monastic hospital dedicated to St Mary. By about 1192 Cockersand was an abbey of the Premonstratensian Order and functioned as such until it Dissolution in 1539. The upstanding fabric and earthwork remains, together with an annotated plan of 1536 and limited excavation undertaken in the early 1920s, indicate the usual layout of a Premonstratensian abbey with the church forming the north range of the cloister. Domestic buildings such as the kitchen and frater formed the south range. The dorter formed the west range whilst the monks quarters formed the upper storey of the east range with the warming house forming the ground floor. The site of the infirmary is represented by isolated fragments of walling. To the south of the cloister the location of the abbey's main drain is visible as a linear hollow running from the infirmary to the sea. Scheduled.

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