The village of Shap consists mainly of two long lines of grey stone houses, many dating from the 18th century, lining the A6 road that runs through the village. In the centre of the village is the market hall, with its curious windows and rounded arches, dating from a few years after the village was granted its market charter in 1687.
The area around Shap was extensively settled in Neolithic times, and there are several stone circles, and other standing stones nearby. Shap Abbey is about half a mile west of the village. It stands in a picturesque setting by the River Lowther, with nothing nearby to interrupt the beauty of the lonely and unfrequented site. It was built in 1199, the last Abbey to be founded in England, and the last to be dissolved by Henry VIII in 1540.
Nearby is the medieval Keld Chapel, owned by the National Trust, and one of their more remote religious sites. St Michael's church has some 12th century elements, though its tower dates from the reign of George IV, and the chancel is Victorian. All well worth a visit.
In the film "Withnail and I" (1986), ‘Crow Cragg’ is Sleddale Hall, until recently a derelict cottage alongside Wet Sleddale Reservoir just west from the A6, near Shap. This is on private property, and should not be visited.
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Cumbria, LA8 9PL
Map reference: NY 561153 Lat: 54.53163 Long: -2.67904