Lanercost Priory

Things To See and Do

What you need to know

We've made some changes to help keep you safe, and things might be a little different when you visit. Here's everything you need to know.

  • Do we need to Book?

    Advance booking is now essential. We have introduced limits on visitor numbers to help keep everyone safe, and you won’t be able to visit without your booking confirmation. If you’re a Member, your ticket will be free, but you still need to book in advance. Make sure you've read our ticketing FAQ before you book.

    Book Tickets

    Booking FAQs

  • Keeping you Safe

    We've made a number of changes to help keep you safe. Although things might be a little different when you visit, you’ll still be able to enjoy exploring the places where history really happened. And you’ll still be given a warm and safe welcome by our friendly – if socially distant – staff and volunteers.

    You can visit our reopening page for information on general safety measures we've taken to help keep you safe.

    General Safety Information

  • Do I need to wear a face covering?

    Face coverings must be worn in all indoor areas. We won't be able to provide you with a face covering, so please come prepared so you don't miss out.

The Ruins

Visitors to Lanercost Priory are likely to be attracted here by the peace, tranquility and worship of this beautiful Priory, not to mention the stunning Cumbrian setting. There is still a great deal for you to see in this best-preserved of Cumbrian monasteries. The east end of the noble 13th century Church survives to its full height and you can admire some fine monuments within its dramatic tripe tier of arches.

Lanercost's cloisters include a beautiful vaulted 13th-century refectory undercroft. Converted into the Tudor mansion of the Dacre family, they also include the Dacre Tower, adapted from the monastic kitchen, and the Dacre Hall (not always open to the public). This displays fragments of 16th-century wall-paintings and a Jacobean fireplace overmantel, recently returned here.

The Tombs

Lanercost's patrons were buried in the priory's east end from the death of Randolf, the first Dacre, in 1339 to the twentieth century. The ornate tomb of Sir Humphrey Dacre in the north transept was set up after his widow Lady Mabel's death in 1510.

The elaborate tombs of Lord Thomas and Lady Elizabeth Dacre are located in the south transept. Lord Thomas had an important role in the English victory at Flodden in 1513 and later died on campaign in Scotland on 24 October 1525.

Visitors can also see an exquisite terracota effigy by the renowned sculptor Sir Edgar Boehm, which commemorates Elizabeth Dacre Howard, daughter of George and Rosalind Howard. She died in 1883, only four months old.

Roman Stonework and Altars

Lanercost Priory is located in Hadrian's Wall Country. No surprise then that the walls of the Priory include several pieces of Roman inscription. The medieval masons chose them simply because they were useful for building.

You can see one example in the cloister, in the massive chimney of the Dacre Hall in the west range.

The undercroft contains replicas of Roman altars and tombstones found near Lanercost over the last 200 years.

'step into englands story