Haunted Furness Abbey, Tales of Treasure and Ghostly Horror

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Furness Abbey in England’s North East was once central to Cumbria’s religious community but now it is a shell haunted by ghosts of the past, says RICK HALE

Furness Abbey Ghosts and Hauntings

While on an archeological dig at Cumbria’s Furness Abbey in 2012, a shocking discovery was made.

Secreted away in the grave of a mediaeval abbot was found a treasure trove of unimaginable wealth.

Along with the mortal remains was found an exquisite silver-gilt crozier obviously wielded by a man of great power and a jewelled ring.

Up until that point, historians theorised that Furness Abbey, a former Cistercian Abbey that now sat in ruin, was the second wealthiest house of God in Britain.

And the treasure confirmed those long held suspicions.

Although this fabulous treasure put this ancient monastery on the map. There is an even lesser known treasure at Furness Abbey. Furness Abbey is haunted.

History Of Furness Abbey

This beautiful example of early Gothic architecture in the Vale of Nightshade was founded in 1123 by Stephen, Count of Boulogne. A nobleman who became king in 1135.

Twenty-four years after its construction, the building and grounds came into possession of an order of Cistercian monks.

Without delay, the monks spared no expense in enlarging the Abbey, making it one of the largest and most prosperous abbeys by the 15th century.

As with most monks of their time the holy men of Furness Abbey went about the business of serving their god and ministering to the locals.

Unfortunately that did not stop trouble from landing on their doorstep. The monks found themselves between the warring factions of Britain and their Scottish neighbors to the north.

When Robert the Bruce invaded England in 1322, in what came to be known as “the Great Raid,” the Abbot housed and fed Robert and his soldiers.

Historians have come to believe the Abbot did this for purely selfish reasons. The Abbot may have believed any other action would have caused him to lose wealth and power. Hardly the lord’s work.

Two centuries later in 1537, Henry VIII, in his attempt to banish Catholicism from Britain, attacked the Abbey and laid waste to it.

Furness Abbey’s days as a prosperous monastery had come to an end. Once and for all.

Haunted Furness Abbey Ghosts Postcard

Haunting Of Furness Abbey

Three ghosts are said to haunt the ruins of this once great house of God. And if the stories of the hauntings are to be believed, they are truly terrifying to behold.

The Squire’s Daughter

Like many haunted structures across Britain, Furness Abbey appears to have it’s very own ghostly white lady.

And like these other iconic spectres, this white lady is forced to forever trod the earth with a broken heart on a path that has become known as “My Lady’s Walk”.

Shortly after the reformation, the local Squire’s Daughter would steal away into the night to Furness Abbey where she would rendezvous with the love of her life.

One night, her lover gave her some bad news, he had taken a job on a ship and was leaving the next morning for points unknown.

The girl of course was saddened, but she had hope as he promised to return and make her his wife.

As she watched him leave fear gripped her heart as she knew deep down inside that he would never return.

Her fear was confirmed not long later, her love perished in the depths of the sea. Devastated, the girl died of a shattered heart.

Since that time, the apparition of a lovely young woman is sighted slowly walking the path to Furness Abbey nightly.

Her hands covering her face as she sobs uncontrollably. When she reaches the Abbey she fades away to nothingness.

Furness Abbey Ghosts Postcard

The Headless Monk Rides Again

The unnerving image of a headless Monk on horseback is reportedly witnessed riding at breakneck speed on the road leading to the Abbey.

When he passes through the sandstone arch he jumps from his steed and disappears before hitting the ground.

It has been offered that in life the monk was decapitated as he rode his horse to the Abbey to warn his brothers in Christ of the Scottish invasion.

The Vanishing Monk

Our third and final ghost of Furness Abbey is a second frightening ghostly monk.

This monk has been witnessed climbing a staircase and slowly walking toward the gatehouse where he vanishes after walking through a wall.

Cumbria’s Furness Abbey is a stunning example of Gothic architecture, although it sits in ruins.

The building is overseen by The English Heritage and is open for tours, where you can walk among the history and hauntings if this once wealthy Abbey.

You can visit Furness Abbey on Manor Road, Barrow-in-Furness LA13 0PJ.

Have you seen anything spooky at Furness Abbey? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

Watch Furness Abbey Video


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