The Chapter House lies in the middle of the east side of the cloister, underneath the Dorter. It has been dated to the late 13th century. Stone benches were placed around the outer walls. The prior’s seat was located in the centre of the east side; the central window behind it was blocked during the 15th century.
The Cistercian abbey at Furness was established at the present site in 1127. It was placed in State Guardianship in 1923. The official guidebook was prepared by J.C. Dickinson in 1965. This contains a history, followed by an itinerary and description. A fold-out plan is placed inside the back cover.
The ‘blue guide’ continued into the 1980s as an English Heritage guide. It was replaced in 1998 by a new illustrated guide, combined with Piel Castle, by Stuart Harrison and Jason Wood; the section on Piel Castle was prepared by Rachel Newman. A fold-out plan of the abbey as well as its surrounding area is printed on the fold-out back cover.
The choir rested below the central tower. To the east was the high altar, and to the south the night stair to the dorter. The north-east pier remains in the remains of the north transpet.
Dryburgh Abbey © David Gill
Cambuskenneth Abbey, near Stirling, was founded in 1147.
The remains of the abbey were placed in State Guardianship in 1908. Stewart Cruden prepared the first guidebook in 1950; a second edition appeared in 1978. It consists of two parts: history and description. A plan is placed on the centre pages.
Arbroath Abbey was founded by William the Lion in 1178 in memory of Thomas Becket of Canterbury. Tironensian monks from Kelso helped to establish the community. The abbey was the setting for the Declaration of Arbroath on 5 April 1320.
The official guide is divided into two sections: a history by R.L. Mackie; and a description by Stewart Cruden. A conjectural reconstruction is placed in the centre, and a fold-out plan inside the back cover.
South and South-East England
Southwick Priory, Hampshire [EH]. The community dates to 1133 when it was established by Henry I at Portchester. The priory moved to its present site within the next two decades.
Bushmead Priory, Bedfordshire [EH]. Founded c. 1195.
St Botolph’s Priory, Colchester, Essex [EH]. The Augustinian priory was founded c. 1100. It was probably one of the earliest foundations in England.
Waltham Abbey, Essex [EH]. The Augustinian priory was founded in 1177 and it later became an abbey.
Creake Abbey, Norfolk [EH]. The monastic site has its origins in 1206, although the Augustinian priory is later.
St Olave’s Priory, Norfolk [EH]. The priory was founded c. 1216.
Haughmond Abbey, Shropshire [EH]. The Augustinian abbey was founded in 1135.
Lilleshall Abbey, Shropshire [EH]. Founded around 1148.
White Ladies Priory, Shropshire (Augustinian canonesses) [EH]. This seems to have been founded in 1186.
Llanthony Priory, Gwent [Cadw]. The priory was established c. 1118.
Penmon Priory, Anglesey [Cadw]. The monastic community became an Augustinian priory in the 13th century.
North-East and Yorkshire
Gisborough Priory, Yorkshire [EH]. There are two foundation dates in 1119 and 1129.
Kirkham Priory, Yorkshire [EH]. Founded by Walter l’Espec c. 1122, probably on the site of an earlier foundation.
Brinkburn Priory, Northumberland [EH]. Founded by William Bertran between 1130 and 1135.
Thornton Abbey, Lincolnshire [EH]. Founded in 1140.
Lanercost Priory, Cumbria [EH]. The traditional foundation date of the priory is 1169 in memory of Hubert de Vaux.
Holyrood, Midlothian [HES]. The Augustinian abbey was founded by King David I in 1128.
Restenneth, Angus [HES]. The Augustinian priory was established by King David I.
St Andrews, Fife [HES]. The Augustinian foundation dates to c. 1130.
Jedburgh, Roxburghshire [HES]. The Augustinian priory was founded here in 1138 by King David I. This became an abbey in 1154.
Cambuskenneth, Stirlingshire (Augustinian of Arrouaise) [HES]. Founded around 1140 by King David I.
Inchmahome Priory, Perthshire [HES]. The priory was founded c. 1238 by the Earl of Menteith.
Tintern Abbey was transferred to the Office of Works in 1914. The guidebook was prepared by the architect Sir Harold Brakspear (1934). Brakspear had helped to plan the ruins after they were purchased by the Crown in 1901, and before they were conserved.
A replacement ‘blue guide’ was prepared by O.E. Craster in 1956. This took the standard pattern of history followed by description. A plan of the abbey was placed in the centre pages.
Craster’s guide continued to be published into the 1970s. This included some elements in Welsh: Abaty Tyndyrn (on the title page, but not on the cover), and a short summary of just over one page at the beginning.
The centre page plan was placed on a fold-out plan inside the back cover. The glossary was expanded to include: ashlar, barrel vault, conversi, garth, jamb, lay brother, lintel, mullion, novice, papal bull, plinth, pulpitum, quire, refectory, screen, vestment and vestry. It also dropped: aisle, bay, boss, capital, crossing, floriated, sexfoil.
Craster also prepared the illustrated souvenir guide (1960; 2nd ed. 1964). It included historical background; a tour of the abbey; the first tourists. The tour is numbered on the plan.
The tour in the souvenir guide in effect turns into the card guide that continued to be published under Cadw.
The Cadw guidebook was prepared by David M. Robinson. This includes a history of the abbey, a section on building the abbey, and a tour of the abbey. A foldout plan (in colour) is printed inside the back (card) cover.