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Friday, 25 July 2014

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Furness Abbey in Barrow in jeopardy

THE future of one of the best-loved landmarks in Barrow could be in jeopardy – if stability issues can’t be solved.

Supporting structures have been in place at Furness Abbey since 2010 and it has emerged if work to stabilise the foundations of the presbytery is unsuccessful they could remain indefinitely.

Red metal tubing is in place to minimise damage should walls at the abbey collapse while repair work to foundations is carried out.

The attraction, widely considered to be Barrow’s best loved landmark, was founded in 1127 by the Benedictine order of Savigny and later absorbed and run by the Cistercians.

The metal structures have been put in place while experts battle to save the insecure foundations.

A spokeswoman for English Heritage said: “We hope to be back at site this spring/summer to complete the underpinning works to the foundations to the presbytery

“If, or, once this is done then there will be a period of two to five years of monitoring of the walls to see if there is any residual movement or not.

“If there is no movement, or if it’s within tolerances then we would look to remove the steel supporting framework and make good the site.

“If there is still movement which is beyond tolerances then we will need to instigate further structural measures to improve the foundation of the walls further.”

The spokeswoman said she was unable to confirm if and when the supporting structures would be removed.

Gill Jepson, of the Furness Abbey Fellowship, said: “We knew it was going to be a long haul because they have never done anything like this before.

“The condition has definitely deteriorated in the past 20 years.”

Councillor Colin Thomson, mayor of Barrow, said: “The abbey is one of the best-loved landmarks in Barrow and has been for centuries.

“I’d rather see it without the structures but they are helping to preserve the ruins and I would rather see them there than it be in jeopardy.

“It’s part of our history and our heritage.”

Have your say

Dalton's history & heritage, Barrow has not been around for 'centuries'.

Posted by I.S. on 23 April 2014 at 22:53

Cllr. Thomson said ''The Abbey is one of the best-loved landmarks in Barrow and has been for centuries'' How wrong he is; The Abbey is one of Dalton's best-loved landmarks and has been for centuries, for one thing Barrow has not been around for 'centuries'.

Posted by I.S. on 21 April 2014 at 20:20

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