button to main menu  Martineau's Complete Guide to the English Lakes, 1855

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Page 25:-
flowing by, - the sides of the glen being clothed with wood. A beacon once belonged to it; a watch tower on an eminence accessible from the abbey, whose signal-fire was visible all over Low Furness, when assistance was required, or foes were expected. The building is of the pale red stone of the district. It must formerly have almost filled the glen: and the ruins give an impression, to this day, of the establishment having been worthy of the zeal of its founder, King Stephen, and the extent of its endowments, which were princely. The boundary-wall of the precincts inclosed a space of sixty-five acres, over which are scattered remains that have, within our own time, been interpreted to be those of the mill, the granary, the fish-ponds, the ovens and kilns, and other offices. As for the architecture, the heavy shaft is found alternating with the clustered pillar, and the round Norman with the pointed Gothic arch. The masonry is so good that the remains are, even now, firm and massive; and the winding staircases within the walls are still in good condition in many places. The nobleness of the edifice consisted in its extent and proportions; for the stone would not bear the execution of any very elaborate ornament. The crowned heads of Stephen and his Queen Maude are seen outside the window of the Abbey, and are among the most interesting of the remains. It is all triste and silent now. The chapter-house, where so many grave councils were held, is open to the babbling winds. Where the abbot and his train swept past in religious procession, over inscribed pavements, echoing to the tread, the stranger now wades among tall ferns
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button -- (beacon, Furness Abbey)
button -- Furness Abbey
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