07 June 2013

Whalley - Ancient

Whalley Abbey was founded in 1296 by Cistercian monks from Stanlow Abbey, on the Mersey, and consecrated in 1306. The church, of which remain only the foundations, was completed in 1380, but the bulk of the abbey was not finished until the 1440s. Building continued right through to the 16th century, when Abbot Paslew built himself a luxurious lodging.

The abbey was dissolved in 1537, in which year Paslew was executed in connection with the Pilgrimage of Grace of the year before. The abbey lands were divided and sold in 1553. Richard Assheton bought the monastic buildings, demolished the abbot's house and infirmary, and built a country house. Whilst the church and remaining monastic buildings were largely pulled down in the 17th century, the country house remained, and was sold to the Church in 1923. It is now a retreat and conference venue.

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