Furness Abbey

A Benedictine monastery in northern Lancashire, England, about 5 miles from Ulverston. Stephen, later King of England, in 1127 gave the valuable forest of Furness to monks of the Savigny Reform. Calder, Swyneshead, and Rushin were founded by colonies of monks from Furness, and in 1148 all the Savigny monks adopted the Cistercian Reform. Communication between Furness and the Isle of Man was fostered through Rushin; several members of the Furness community became Bishops of Man. Shortly after the visit of royal commissioners to Furness, 1535, accusations were brought against the monks implicating them in the Pilgrimage of Grace, and in 1537 they were forced to surrender their abbey to the Crown. Title to the property was several times transferred, and is now held by the dukes of Devonshire.