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Calder Abbey was originally founded in 1135 by monks from Furness Abbey. When this monastery was destroyed by the Scots in 1138 the monks tried to return to Furness, but were refused entry and went on to found Byland Abbey in North Yorkshire (UID 56808). The monastery was refounded by more monks from Furness in 1142. Originally Savigniac, this order joined the Cistercians in 1147. Calder Abbey was dissolved in 1536 by Henry VIII.

Extensive ruins of the abbey church of Norman, Early English and Decorated periods survive, and the crossing arches are intact. The church was abandoned during the Reformation, and the rest of the abbey buildings were adapted or rebuilt as a dwelling for a private family, which is still adjoining the ruins. The Monk's Oven is a large detached oven of uncertain date but associated with the monastery in whose precinct it was built. The Abbey Gatehouse was used as a garage at the time of a survey in April 1984, and is probably 14th century with later alterations, including a conversion to agricultural use in the 17th or 18th century.

The present house was built in 1770, and comprises three storeys including a semi-basement. A rear wing was built on to the remains of the abbot's house. The house incorporates the monastic ruins of the south range and courtyard buildings of Calder Abbey. A painting of circa 1730 shows the original form of the south range now incorporated into the house. A new frontage to the west end of this range was added in the late 18th century. The riverside elevation was remodelled in the early 20th century.

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