Rushen Abbey

Rushen Abbey has been many things.

Founded in the 10th century by the slightly-tricky-to-pronounce Óláfr Guðrøðarson as a daughter church of Furness Abbey and dissolved in the 16th century, it nearly became an asylum in the 19th century, was a much-loved destination in the early 20th century, renowned for tea dances, superb strawberries and cream, markets and - maybe surprisingly - was home to a very successful nightclub in the 1980s and 1990s (responsible, we can attest, for much morning-after fuzzy-headedness).

It's now a superb heritage attraction, focused largely on the archaeological investigations which have been ongoing for many years, whilst building a picture of the abbey and the surrounding area. The site has been designed to feature educational exhibits and games, very much with children in mind.

It's a lovely place to visit, and the gardens are ideal for a spot of quiet introspection whilst the kids run around like mad things. There's a small souvenir shop where you can get an excellent cup of coffee and biscuits.

We also love the walk along the banks of the lazy, shimmering Silverdale river, past the ancient Monks' Bridge, to Silverdale Glen. It's thoroughly beautiful.

Photo by Malost  CC BY-SA 3.0


There is plentiful car parking and wheelchair access throughout the site, although the gardens may provide some difficulty. There is a shop on site and accessible toilets.

Contact Details

Google Maps Directions
Opening Hours


Day of the Week Opening Hours
Monday 9.30am to 4pm
Tuesday 9.30am to 4pm
Wednesday 9.30am to 4pm
Thursday 9.30am to 4pm
Friday 9.30am to 4pm
Saturday 9.30am to 4pm
Sunday 9.30am to 4pm

The above hours apply 1st Apr to 29th May 2020, and 7th Sep to 1st Nov 2020. Between 30th May and 6th Sep, the site closes at 5pm
There is an entrance charge.