FURNESS Abbey was left standing in water up to 18 inches deep as the ruin took the brunt of yesterday afternoon’s foul weather.

Westmorland Gazette reader Stuart Priss filmed flooding at the site, showing water rushing towards the ruins of the Abbey. Deep pools of standing water developed in the area around the building.

He said: “What a mess it is down there. It had already flooded in November of last year and in August this year, but nothing as bad as this.

“It was just like looking at a lake. The stream was right across the road with the water flowing down over the top, with waterfalls going into the abbey. 

“At the back of the abbey are channels about three or feet deep and they were completely covered.

“Since there has been building on certain flood plains, it seems to have been messing with the run-off water.

“If we are not careful there are going to be major problems with the abbey, especially with oak in its foundations.

“It would be terrible for it have survived all these years for us to lose it in our generation. I don’t know where the nearest abbey that stands as well as this is.

“A Friends of Furness Abbey group has been started to try and attract funding to keep it standing.”

A spokesman for English Heritage said: "Like much of the country, Furness Abbey has been subjected to some flooding in the last couple of days because of the extreme weather we have been experiencing.

"The site is very flat and therefore tends to become waterlogged during periods of continual rain as natural drainage does not occur effectively.

"We carry out regular maintenance of our waterways but cannot prevent water and debris from up stream entering our site.

"We appreciate that some local residents are concerned about the impact this may have on the abbey, as we are too, but wish to reassure them that the ruins themselves do not appear to be affected by the recent flooding events.

"We will continue to monitor this and take every possible step to minimise the impact of flooding to the site."