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150706-05. © NRT, 2006
Chapter house, Cockersand Abbey, near Lancaster, UK, 15 July, 2006

Founded by Hugh Garth ('Hugh the Hermit') in 1184 for the Premonstratensian canonic order, the Abbey became a major local landowner and by the time of its dissolution in 1539 was one of the richest religious institutions in Lancashire.

Most of the abbey was subsequently 'recycled' into local building projects, but the chapter house was saved by being adopted as the family tomb of the Daltons of Thurnham Hall in the 16th Century.
This partly explains the odd hexagonal ('semi-octagonal') shape: the three buttressed, crenellated walls to the east, featuring bricked-up windows, were part of the Abbey's outer wall, whereas the plainer walls on the remaining sides (clearer in subsequent photos) were inside the overall building.

The remains of the Abbey are now Grade I Listed as 'of exceptional architectural or historical interest'.

That's Heysham power station in the distance.

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Day in the life... © NRT, 2006