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Whalley Abbey

Hob Uid: 44508
Location :
Lancashire
Ribble Valley
Whalley
Grid Ref : SD7301036100
Summary : The site of Whalley Abbey, a Cistercian abbey founded in 1296 and dissolved in 1536. It was constructed in response to the monks at the abbey of Stanlow in Cheshire, who were suffering flooding from the River Mersey during the latter part of the 13th century. The upstanding remains include the north-east gateway, the north wall with round bastions, the ruins of the east and south ranges of the cloister, the abbot's lodging, the late 13th century Peter of Chester's Chapel, the north-west gateway and the foundations of the nave. The church was partly excavated and along with the octagonal chapter house, the plan shows through the turf. The 14th century gatehouse is now in the care of English Heritage. The remains demonstrate the usual layout of a Cistercian abbey but not the standard orientation. Traditionally monastic buildings were laid out so that the church ran east-west and formed the north range. At Whalley however, to enable the best use of the water supply it was necessary to align the church on a north-north-west/south-south-east alignment. The oldest part of the abbey is the north-west gateway built from 1320. Building of the church began ten years later and was completed in 1380. The cloister, abbot's lodgings and infirmary were completed by the 1440s. There are also the remains of the abbot's lodgings, built by Abbot Paslew in the 16th century. The ruined walls overlying the eastern end of the abbot's lodgings and the abbey's infirmary are the remains of the long gallery. This was built after the Dissolution by the Assheton family as part of their new manor house. Other sections of this manor house are now used as a conference centre. The porter's lodge is now a ticket office, and to the east, in the location of the 17th century buildings associated with the Assheton mansion would have been the abbey stables. From the 18th century the abbey passed through various families until 1923 when the house and grounds were bought by the church.
More information : [SD 7312 3603] WHALLEY ABBEY [GT] (Remains of)
GATEWAY [GT] [Shown twice] (1)

The Cistercian Abbey of Whalley was founded on the 4th April, 1226, and dissolved in 1537. (2)

Two gateways survive. That to the N.W. was erected about the year 1350, and Whalley Grammar School when first founded occupied its upper room (5). The N.E. gateway was built in 1486. (3-4)

Recent excavations have revealed the plan of the church, chapter house, the abbot's lodgings and banqueting hall (6). (2-7)

Scheduled (8)

GP. AO/61/242/2 shows the remains of the abbey from the N-E.
GP. AO/61/242/3 shows the northern aspect of the cellarium and GP. AO/61/242/4 the cloisters from the north.
GP. AO/61/245/1 shows the layout of the abbey church and GPs.
AO/61/245/2 the S. aspect of the N.E. gateway. GP.AO/61/245/3 shows the S.E. aspect of the N.W. gateway. (9)

Whalley Abbey. Grade I Listed. Cistercian monastery. West range of cloister now used as RC church hall. Assheton mansion now a conference centre. See List for full description.
North-West gateway (formerly included as an integral part of Whalley Abbey). Grade I. Early C14. See List for full description. (10)

SD 7309 3605; SD 7290 3618. Whalley Cistercian abbey. Scheduled RSM No 23691. The upstanding remains include the NE gateway, the N wall with round bastions along the roadside, the ruins of the east and south ranges of the cloister, the abbot's lodging, Peter of Chester's Chapel, the NW gateway and the foundations of the nave. Full architectural and archaeological description. (11)

In 1999 a watching brief was undertaken at the Conference House which comprises a mansion constructed between 1553 and the 1680s, with 19th century additions. It also incorporated parts of the Abbot's Lodgings of the Cistercian abbey founded in 1296 and dissolved in 1537/8. The deposits identified related to at least one, perhaps two, walls of a building, and possibly some floor deposits within that building, but the limited extent of the building contractors excavation made it impossible to identify conclusively either the limits of the building, or their date. The floor tile fragments and architectural fragments suggested a medieval date. (12)

Archaeological recording was undertaken at Whalley Abbey Conference House. The watching brief identified the foundations of the c.1860s wing. The 19th century wall cut a sandy clay horizon, overlying a mortar spread of Dissolution to earlier date, but very little of these horizons was visible. The artefacts recovered included fragments of medieval or post-Dissolution plaster, medieval floor tiles, and early bricks. The boreholes confirmed that there was a thick horizon of brick and mortar debris, extending to a depth of c.1.5m. Below this was sandy gravel with brick fragments, perhaps at around foundation level within the Infirmary Range. (13)

Archaeological recording was undertaken during emergency repair works to a burst water main in 2000. The stratigraphy revealed modern gravel surface track overlying 1990 backfill, overlying a sequence of natural river clay-silts and a possible dump deposit. The finds assemblage in this area was interpreted as representing a midden deposit associated with the Abbot's Kitchen, in both the medieval and post-Dissolution period. It was thought that the river silts could have overlain archaeological deposits at a greater depth than the base of the sewer construction trench. (14)

A brief history and description. (15)


Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1955
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Medieval religious houses : England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 118
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 10-Aug-94
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 12
Source : Disabled Access at West Wing of Whalley Abbey Conference House, Lancashire. Report on Archaeological Watching Brief
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 13
Source : Investigation of Structural Defects to East Wing of Whalley Abbey Conference House, Lancashire. Report on Archaeological Watching Brief
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 14
Source : Repair to Water Main SE of Abbot's Kitchen, Whalley Abbey, Lancashire. Report on Archaeological Watching Brief
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 15
Source : Heritage Unlocked: Guide to free sites in the North West
Source details :
Page(s) : 60-61
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Lancashire, 1920 (F.H. Cheetham)
Page(s) : 270
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Calderdale, 1906, (T. Ormerod)
Page(s) : 241
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Lancashire Landscape, 1951, (J. Lofthouse)
Page(s) : 293
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 119-121
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 51, 1936
Source Number : 7
Source : Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne
Source details : A Howard Hall
Page(s) : 298-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1, 1954-5
Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : list of Ancient Monuments in England and Wales, 1958
Page(s) : 47
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 RL 03-OCT-61
Page(s) :
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Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Ribble Valley, 13-MAR-1986
Page(s) : 28-Sep
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1025

Monument Types:
Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : LA 1
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 23691
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 183536
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 183537
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 168
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 111799
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : AA086187
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : AA086188
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1008636
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1164643
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SD 73 NW 21
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 69756
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 39266
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1307757
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 69550
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SD 73 NW 21
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1961-10-03
End Date : 1961-10-03
Associated Activities : Primary, WHALLEY ABBEY
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1989-01-01
End Date : 1992-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WHALLEY ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WHALLEY ABBEY
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WHALLEY ABBEY ENCLOSURE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WHALLEY ABBEY MILL
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WHALLEY ABBEY, THE SANDS
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WHALLEY ABBEY CONFERENCE HOUSE
Activity type : DESK BASED ASSESSMENT
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WHALLEY ABBEY GATEHOUSE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2005-01-01
End Date : 2005-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CONFERENCE CENTRE, WHALLEY ABBEY
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2007-01-01
End Date : 2007-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WHALLEY ABBEY (GREAT HALL AND NORTH RANGE)
Activity type : DENDROCHRONOLOGICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2014-01-01
End Date : 2014-12-31