Archaeologists unearth 12th century abbey

From The Cumberland News: Archaeologists unearth 12th century abbey.

A team of volunteers painstakingly pieced together some of the buried secrets of Holme Cultram Abbey last week during a 12-day dig.

The abbey was founded in 1150 by the Cistercian Monks from Melrose Abbey on the Scottish Borders. It grew to be larger than Carlisle Cathedral in the 15th century.

But after the dissolution of the monasteries during the rule of Henry VIII, the abbey fell into disrepair and much of its stone was taken away to build houses. Only the abbey’s church remains above ground although this was subject of an arson attack in 2006 which gutted its interior.

Now, the West Cumbrian Archeologists Society team have uncovered what they believe to be its cloisters in the first ever dig on the south side of the historic site. [continue]