Nestled in a peaceful valley in Barrow-in-Furness are the majestic remains of Furness Abbey, an English Heritage site that was formerly one of the richest and most powerful Cistercian Monasteries of its time. Founded by Stephen, later King of England, this 900 year old site boasts ruins dating back to the 12th and 13th Centuries and was once a flourishing community of wealthy order. Formed of local red sandstone, the fascinating ruins include the east and west tower of the church, the ornate chapter house and the cloister buildings, around which visitors can take an audio tour or use the guidebook to explore. There is also a visitor centre and an impressive exhibition about the history of the Abbey for those who wish to learn more. The Abbey is also currently undergoing restoration work to stop it sinking into the ground, a project which has led to the discovery of a medieval grave of a prosperous Abbott, which included a hoard of medieval treasures including a gemstone ring and a silver-gilt Grozier, the first to be excavated in over 50 years! Also forming part of the National Cycle Network and lying on the Cistercian Way, a popular ancient walk, a trip to the Abbey can be incorporated into a day of walking or cycling for the more active visitors out there!