Lanercost Priory

School Visits

The beautiful and tranquil setting of Lanercost Priory hides its troubled history. The Augustinian priory sits in the Cumbrian countryside beside the River Irthing but was subjected to frequent attacks during the Anglo-Scottish wars, once by Robert Bruce in person. It was a resting place for King Edward I for five months before his final campaign. After the dissolution, the priory was converted into a private house for the Dacre family and the monastery remains well preserved today. 

“A very enjoyable and valuable day!”

Teacher, KS2

Curriculum Links

Support your teaching in the classroom by stepping out of it. A visit to Lanercost Priory will help you bring learning to life, covering multiple topics across the curriculum and key stages.

  • KS1-3 History: A local history study
  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality
  • KS2 History: Study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS3 History: The development of Church, state and society in Britain 1066-1509 and 1509-1745

Free Self-Led Visits

Book a free self-led visit to Lanercost Priory and organise your day to suit your curriculum objectives. Explore the 13th century remains including the east end of the noble Church which stands at full height and the vaulted undercroft of the refectory. Can you spot the Roman inscriptions on stones reused in the building of the priory?  

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Plan Your Trip

We have a wide range of materials to support your visit and make school trip planning easy. You can find all our site-specific information and tools below, and for Covid-19 risk assessments and measures we’ve got in place please visit our what to expect page.

Download our free resources to help you make the most out of your visit and create unique learning experiences before, during and after your trip. We also offer free planning visits once you have made a booking, plus a 20% discount on the official English Heritage guidebook for your place of choice.

Once you book your visit you’ll be sent a visit permit, which you’ll need to bring with you on the day.

Visit our bookings page to start planning your trip!

  • Facilities
    • PARKING: There is limited free parking in front of the Garth. Coaches can use the layby (bus stop) opposite to drop off students and they can cross the main road to the site entrance. An alternative layby can be found at the rear of the graveyard on the road to Banks and students can access the site entrance via the graveyard.
    • TOILETS: There are no toilets on site. Please ask site staff for more information.
    • LUNCH: You are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in the grounds.
    • SHOP:   There is a gift shop selling English Heritage gifts and souvenirs. We recommend bringing your students in small groups at a time.
    • EDUCATION ROOM or BAG STORAGE: There is currently no education room or bag storage facility.
    • ACCESSIBILITY: There are portable ramps to access the site due to a step up from the shop to the site, but this only allows access to part of the site due to steps and uneven surfaces.
    • WET WEATHER: The site is mainly outdoors with no cover. In the case of inclement weather, the site team will do their best to accommodate you.
  • Hazard Information

    A useful tool to help with your risk assessments.


    You must meet the following ratios for leaders to students on the day of your visit when booking, and if your group is forming smaller groups while at the site:

    • Ages 4-5 (UK Reception) 1 leader for every 4 students (1:4)
    • Ages 5-7 (UK Key Stage 1) 1 leader for every 6 students (1:6)
    • Ages 7-11 (UK Key Stage 2) 1 leader for every 10 students (1:10) and
    • Ages 11-18 (UK Key Stages 3, 4, and 5) 1 leader for every 15 students (1:15)
    • For an adult learning group, consisting of individuals all over the age of 18, there are no ratios but there must be an appointed group leader
    • All ratios outlined above apply to home education groups
    • If your group consists of children aged 3 and/or 4, you must also refer to the Early Years and Foundation Stage Statutory Framework which sets out specific legal requirements for minimum ratios for this age group, to include requirements about the qualifications of the leaders
    • SEND groups must meet the minimum ratios above but may bring any additional leaders as required to adequately support their group
  • Education Site Opening Times

    We offer free self-led education visits during school term time*

    *Free education visits are not offered on UK public holidays or during the operation of additional fee paying public events at English Heritage sites.

    • April-October: Wednesday-Sunday 10-5pm
    • November-March: Saturday-Sunday 10-4pm

Learning Resources

  • Teaching Medieval History

    Use historical information, learning activities and tips from our historians, curators and educational experts to support your teaching of medieval history.

  • A Mini Guide to Medieval Monks

    Find out more about different medieval monastic orders with our short animation.

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