Furness Abbey

Conservation in Action at Furness Abbey

English Heritage has completed the final phase of a long running conservation project at Furness Abbey, made possible thanks to a grant from the FCC Communities Foundation.

Preserving for the future

The £650,000 project has included over ten years of maintenance, investigation, monitoring and testing to ensure the long term stability and safety of the Abbey's presbytery walls.

The project has also completed repair work to the Abbey's West Tower, East Range and Infirmary.

Property Curator, Mark Douglas said "Furness Abbey is one of the most significant monastic sites in Northern England and this work will go a long way to ensure people can continue to enjoy the site for years to come. Being able to see the works take place offers a unique opportunity to see expert conservation techniques in action".

Conservation work

A series of interventions to address issues with the structural stability of the Abbey’s presbytery have taken place since 2020.


A crack in the presbytery wall was first noticed in 2008 and the first phase of works involved the installation of a temporary steel cradle to help protect against collapse of the wall. Archaeological excavation around the base of the structure followed and between 2012 and 2015 underpinning work took place to the north, south and eastern walls of the presbytery, followed by monitoring work.

In the final phase of the conservation works, grout has been injected into the cavity between the walls greatly increasing the structural stability of the presbytery. It is hoped that the works will ultimately lead to the removal of the steel cradle, which has supported the presbytery walls since 2008.

Book your visit to Furness Abbey