During excavations to investigate the rotting medieval wooden foundations of Furness Abbey, an undisturbed grave of an abbot was discovered in the presbytery, generally reserved for the richest benefactors. The medieval grave contained the remains of an abbot belonging to the Cistercian order which was the most powerful monastic order in England. The grave, which may date to the 11th century, also contained a rare medieval silver-gilt crosier.
An abbot or bishop usually held a crosier (ecclesiastical ornament) with his left hand and was used at liturgical functions. The head of the crosier is is decorated with gilded silver medallions showing the Archangel Michael defeating a dragon.