Shap Abbey

A view of Shap Abbey and the surrounding countryside

Free Entry

Open any reasonable time during daylight hours


Shap, Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 3NB

Before You Go

Founded in the late 12th century in a secluded and beautiful valley of the river Lowther, Shap Abbey was one of 32 religious houses in Britain belonging to the Premonstratensian order of canons. Today the impressive 15th century tower and other remains can be explored with the help of information panels that guide you around the abbey and illustrate daily monastic life.

Read more about the history of Shap Abbey.

Before You Go

Access: The access track to the car park is steep and narrow, through grazed land.  Disabled access is limited to external views only.

Parking: Parking available close to the abbey ruins.  This is signposted, with pedestrian directions from the car park. Not suitable for large coaches, or cars in wintry weather.

Dogs: Dogs on leads are welcome.

Please be aware: Farm livestock is likely to be present. Site is adjacent to a river.



Plan a Great Day Out

Also in the Lake District is Stott Park Bobbin Mill. Take a guided tour and explore the story of this humble little mill, which was once an industrial powerhouse making millions of bobbins. You can also pick up your own bobbin from the shop.

Also nearby are the picturesque medieval remains of Brougham Castle and the prehistoric sites of King Arthur's Round Table and Mayburgh Henge.

Your support helps in so many ways

Your membership provides valuable support for our essential work, while you can enjoy free access to the beauty and inspiration of our magnificent historic places. 


About us

English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and places - from world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to a Cold War bunker. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year. The English Heritage Trust is a charity, no. 1140351, and a company, no. 0744722, registered in England.

How We Are Funded

Our target is to become completely self-funding by 2023. Our confidence in achieving this is based on our track record. During the past 10 years, our commercial income has doubled and we have raised nearly £60m in donated income.

  • 66% Self-generated income
  • 20% One off capital grant
  • 14% Government funding
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