The west part of the church, extending west from the crossing; reserved for lay brothers.

Nine Men’s Morris
A board game, once widely known.  It flourished in Elizabethan times. The game is scratched on sandstone near the porter's lodge, Furness Abbey. This is a facsimile. The original is housed in the Visitor Centre.

Night Stairs
The stairs led from the monks' dormitory to the church and were used for night services.

1) Conquest.  1066.
2) A type of architecture prominent from 11th to 13th century.

Norman Mentality
The Normans were a very religious people and were obsessed with the impending Day of Judgement. They thought that donations of money, precious articles and particularly land would guarantee a good place in the after life, providing them with "passports to Heaven".

Norman Nicholson (1914-1987)
Born in Millom, Cumbria, he has been acclaimed as Cumbria's finest poet since Wordsworth. He wrote about the beauty of the infirmary chapel and referred to its vaulted roof as being "ribbed and curving like a bat's wings”

A "learner" monk.  Sons of the abbey's tenants (about six or seven at a time), entered the monastery at the age of fifteen and were taught a monk's way of life in preparation for taking vows.

Numbers in Cistercian Houses (England and Wales)
According to Knowles and Hadcock, an average English Cistercian establishment, a few years after its foundation, would have had 36 quire monks and 50 lay brothers. For the first two centuries lay brothers outnumbered quire monks but the situation was reversed by the 14th century due to changes in farming and the economic and social structures, a decline in vocations, and finally to the Black Death in 1349. In 1381 there were only six lay brothers at Furness Abbey.

“Professor Knowles who was himself a Catholic monk acknowledges that the easy living prevailing in most of the larger monasteries was a scandal. While deploring their forcible extinction he considers that they had become so remote from their founding ideals that they did not deserve to survive in their existing forms”.
Taken from Historical Notes, “Dissolution” by C.J. Sanson.

ora (ore) graf (grave), to dig ore pits. Roger of Orgrave gave all the iron ore in the common field of Orgrave to the monastery forever. (Fell's Early Industry, facing p. 17). Original diggings were at eure pits, half a mile south of Tytup Hall, Dalton.

Several families since the dissolution have owned the Abbey ruins in 1537: the Prestons, the Lowthers and finally the Cavendishes.  In 1923 Lord Richard Cavendish placed the ruins in the guardianship of the Office of Works. Various government departments have been responsible for the care and maintenance of the ruins.  Since 1982 the abbey has been preserved as a national monument by English Heritage.