Distance: 2.5 mi
Drive time: 8 minutes
Lanercost Priory was founded in about 1166 by Henry II. After its completion in 1220, it housed canons from the priory in Norfolk and and continued to do so for the next 370 years until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536 by Henry VIII.
The building went to Thomas Dacre of the nearby Naworth Castle. He converted some of the buildings into private dwellings (the Dacre Hall) while the rest of the building fell into disrepair. In about 1740 the nave was restored to be used as a Parish Church.
The inner arch of the original gatehouse remains outside the priory.
The remainder of the Priory is now run by English Heritage. You can view the remains of the North and South Transepts, the Choir, the Sanctuary and the Cellarium. The Vicarage Tower is Known as King Edward’s Tower after King Edward I lodged there on his three visits to Lanercost. Within the ruins are several interesting tombs, including that of Sir Thomas Dacre.
In the converted outbuildings to the right of the Priory is a fabulous Tea Room, a dog friendly café (The Bark and Brew), Gift Shop and Hadrian's Wall Visitor Information Centre.