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House, Incorporating Monastic Ruins and Courtyard Buildings Adjoining to East

A Grade I Listed Building in Ponsonby, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.4438 / 54°26'37"N

Longitude: -3.4648 / 3°27'53"W

OS Eastings: 305104

OS Northings: 506361

OS Grid: NY051063

Mapcode National: GBR 4K71.PT

Mapcode Global: WH5ZP.RK8P

Plus Code: 9C6RCGVP+G3

Entry Name: House, Incorporating Monastic Ruins and Courtyard Buildings Adjoining to East

Listing Date: 9 March 1967

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1336040

English Heritage Legacy ID: 76360

ID on this website: 101336040

Location: Cumberland, Cumbria, CA20

County: Cumbria

District: Copeland

Civil Parish: Ponsonby

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Beckermet St Bridget

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

Tagged with: House

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House, incorporating monastic ruins and courtyard buildings adjoining to east.


House, incorporating south monastic range of abbey, and adjoining courtyard buildings. Main abbey ruins adjoin to north (listed separately). The Savignac Abbey was first established in 1135 as a daughter house of Furness. In 1137, following the start of work on permanent buildings, a raid by the Scots forced the monks to flee; on being refused admission to Furness, they moved eastwards and eventually founded Byland Abbey in Coxwold, Yorkshire. In 1137 Calder was re-established by Furness, becoming a Cistercian Abbey in 1147; the surviving ruins date from this second foundation but incorporate later alterations. Calder was suppressed in 1536 and granted by Henry VIII to one of his Commissioners, Dr Thomas Leigh, in 1538. A painting by Matthias Read in Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, shows the property c.1730 when it was purchased by John Tiffin; this painting shows the original form of the south range now incorporated in the house. A new frontage to the west end of this range was added in the late C18 (a holograph plan dated 1785 and signed by John Carr of York in the Jackson Collection, Carlisle Public Library, shows an unexecuted design for the site. The document's cover is, however, endorsed "Mr Senhouse house at Calder Abbey near Whitehaven by me 1788" in the same hand); the riverside elevation was remodelled in the early C20. Constructed of stone (stuccoed to the west elevation, ashlar and rustication to the riverside) with sill bands and eaves cornice. The hipped, graduated slate roofs have end and eaves corniced stone chimney stacks with tall, decorative pots. the symmetrical west elevation is 2 storeys with cellars and 7 bays overall. The ornate pedimented porch, with its double door and semicircular fanlight, was added in 1859; there are 2 windows to the cellar and 3 windows to each upper floor on either side with a Venetian window above. The upper windows are all 2-light with wooden mullions and transoms. This block is 2 bays deep. The riverside elevation is the same height but, except for the bay window, has an additional floor and is 10 bays overall (3:2:5). The rusticated cellar has Romanesque-style semicircular-headed openings; the full-height semicircular bay (an extension to the original refectory) has ornate Gothic-style panelling over the windows. The main windows are all 2-light with wooden mullions; some have transoms. The eastern bay has a splayed stone staircase up to a panelled door at first floor level. The single-storey courtyard buildings adjoining to the east are of similar construction to the main building but present a Dutch gable to the riverside elevation. Interior: the visible remains of the monastic buildings are mainly to be found in the cellar, the rest of the house having been extensively remodelled, to a very high standard, in the Arts and Crafts style. Decorative woodwork includes panelling, ornate doorcases and overmantles, turned balusters and carved newels to the stairs and carved beams; decorative plaster cornices and friezes are to be found throughout. The early C20 cast iron fire-surrounds survive and the main stair has a large stained-glass rooflight with fleurs-de-lis and Tudor rose motifs.
This house forms a major part of an important group of monastic buildings.

Listing NGR: NY0510206360

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