Cartmel Priory

The Priory Church of St Mary and St Michael, Cartmel, LA11 6PU
Cartmel Priory

Cartmel Priory

Located in the picturesque and medieval village of Cartmel, the Cartmel Priory, also known as the Priory Church of St. Mary and St. Michael, has provided villagers with a place of worship for around 800 years.

Visitors to the church can learn about the history of the monastery or simply take time out to reflect in a place of quiet and solitude.

Planning Your Visit

Contact Details:
01539 536 261 / Website
Seasonal Opening:
All Year


Fulfilling the wishes of William Marshall, 1st Earl of Pembroke, the Cartmel Priory was established in 1190, with building works taking approximately 30 years to complete. The monastery was home to 12 Augustine monks and a Prior, and originally there were a cluster of residential buildings adjacent to the church that formed part of the priory.

In the 16th century, following Henry VIII’s rejection of the Catholic Church, an extensive programme of disbandment was forced upon Catholic institutions up and down the country, and the monastery buildings at Cartmel were destroyed. The church was allowed to remain following a plea by villagers who wanted somewhere to worship.

The church underwent an extensive restoration programme during the 19th century.

Things To See

Many people attend the church for prayer and reflection, whilst others prefer to walk around and admire the stained glass windows, spectacular stonemasonry, and beautiful wood carvings. Between April and October there are guided tours each Wednesday at 11am and 2pm, where you will hear about the history of the church and what daily life was like for one of the resident monks.

The church is also host to regular concerts from the local choral society and other ensembles, and there are also events that take place throughout the year to mark special occasions.

Useful Information

There is a small shop in the priory that sells Christian literature and artefacts. There are no public toilets at the church, but there are some located in the village. The church is wheelchair accessible.


Admission to the church is free. There is a small charge for the guided tours but there is no need to book in advance.


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