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Description: Whalley Abbey
Date Listed: 13 February 1967
English Heritage Building ID: 183536
OS Grid Reference: SD7306636036
OS Grid Coordinates: 373066, 436036
Latitude/Longitude: 53.8199, -2.4106
Explore more of the area around Whalley, Lancashire at Explore Britain.
SD 73 NW
2/51 Whalley Abbey
Cistercian monastery. West range of cloister now used as Roman Catholic
church hall. Assheton mansion now a conference centre. Building work begun
c.1320. Abbey church begun in 1330 and finished in 1380. East range of
cloister late Cl4. Infirmary and Abbot's lodgings complete by 1440s. In
1480 the north-east gateway was built, and the Abbey was dissolved in
1537. The site was bought by the Assheton family, who subsequently
converted parts of the Abbot's house and Infirmary into a residence, which
was complete by c.1680. This house was restored and extended in the mid
C19. In the 1930s the site was excavated and the foundations discovered
were exposed and consolidated. Only the foundations of the church remain.
The west range of the closter is of a full 2 storeys and is roofed. The
south wall of the cloister is incomplete but includes a lavatory with
moulded arch. The east range is more complete and includes a doorway with
a fleuron order leading into the chapter house vestibule. At the south end
of this range is the rere-dorter, with the drain passing through pointed
arches. Between the east claustral buildings and the Assheton mansion the
foundations of the chapter house and part of the Abbot's Lodgings are
exposed. The southern part of the west wing of the mansion is now
roofless. It contained Assheton's long gallery on the 1st floor and
incorporates part of the Abbot's kitchen. The north-west wing of the
mansion is C19. The entrance to the house is through a 1st floor porch
reached by a flight of stone steps. Inside, the mansion has a
deeply-moulded pointed arch on the ground floor, a window of 2 trefoiled
lights now in an internal wall, and large deeply-chamfered joists
supporting the floor of the hall on the 1st floor above. This hall has a
stone fireplace with segmental arch, with a C19 fireplace within. The roof
is of c.1500 with king posts rising from high collars with moulded arch
braces. Between the purlins and principals are carved triangular braces.
On the north-east side of the mansion is a courtyard enclosed by stone
walls, with single-storey C17 buildings on the east and north sides. The
north-east gateway is of 2 storeys and has an embattled parapet and
diagonal buttresses. The arches are pointed and moulded. The north part of
the interior has a tunnel vault which appears to be of post-Reformation
date. Ashmore, O., A Guide to Whalley Abbey, 4th ed. 1981. Scheduled
Listing NGR: SD7310436136
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.