Whalley Abbey Wander.

Another weekend walk from home. On Sunday we decided to venture from Clitheroe to the nearby village of Whalley, via an old Roman road. The route took us 4 miles through muddy fields, eventually passing under a handsome red brick viaduct into Whalley. We found the cafe at Whalley Abbey was open for take away ( hurrah) and ate our lunch on the benches outside.

As I was meeting friends that afternoon I decided to chance it and catch the bus back, whilst Wil walked home with Hugo. Even though Whalley Abbey is practically on my doorstep, I have never actually explored the grounds. Well , they are beautiful. Can’t believe I haven’t taken time to look around this tranquil hidden gem in Whalley before. Unfortunately I only had about 20 minutes to whizz round taking photos before my bus arrived….so I will have to return and take my time. Whalley Abbey deserves a closer look.

Community woodland at Standen Hey.
Hugo finds a stick.
An old cross base.
Oak trees.

I thought the above few photos show the prettiest part of the walk. You can almost envisage the peddlers and horses & carts that wandered between Whalley and Clitheroe in days gone by.

Totem Pole in the woodland by Calderstone’s park.
Heading through the fields.
Obligatary cows.
Whalley Viaduct.
The abbey’s oldest building is The Gatehouse , it spans a narrow lane into Whalley.

The 49 red brick arches of Whalley Viaduct are a prominent feature in the village. Even these are overshadowed though by the former 14th century Cistercian abbey and it’s pretty gardens.

In 1296 Monks from the flooded Stanlow Abbey in Cheshire relocated to Whalley and work was started on building the monastery on the banks of the river Calder. It became one of the wealthiest abbey’s in the country, eventually dissolved in the reign of Henry VIII.

Below are some images of the abbey grounds. The later Elizabethan buildings are now used as a religious retreat.

It seemed that no time had passed before I had to hurry for the bus. At least I got to admire the beautiful stainless steel sculpture of Three Fishes near the bus stop. The fish possibly represent the three rivers in the area, the Calder, Hodder and Ribble.

Tudor style houses in the village.
Whose looking in my window…
Three Fishes Sculpture.

Do you have any abbey remains near you?

24 thoughts on “Whalley Abbey Wander.”

      1. I went once back in 2010 after I’d been to the big car boot sale at Clitheroe, Parked near the aquaduct and got a couple of shots looking through the gatehouse archways but I didn’t stay long – it’s a long and personal story 😦

  1. I love those old Abbey’s. One of my favourites is Rievaulx Abbey. When I was last there it was a magical misty morning—I could just imagine the monks in their habits wandering around the grounds. How lucky you are to have one on your doorstep 💕💕💕

      1. Yes. It’s a half hour drive from Thirsk. You can walk from Helmsley (about 7 miles return). I got lost, of course and ran out of time so had to return the next morning by car. A good thing because I spent almost two hours in the grounds which had so
        much interesting things to see. It was a misty morning, perfect for visiting haunted grounds!!

  2. I live just by Whalley Abbey and there are still places around here I’m discovering.

    A nice walk especially for Hugo is if you wander the public footpath running directly beside the Croft Care Home – right across from the memorial – which takes you a really pretty scenic, quiet walk through back fields and streams up to Spring Wood picnic area. You go underneath the bridge at A59 so there’s no main roads to negotiate or worry about either.

    Another longer walk but accessible by bus is from Whalley, Barrow and Wiswell cemetery on Clitheroe Rd. Bus stop is right outside and next to the cemetery there is a public footpath leading down a farm track road towards stables (where we keep the horses) Follow it down and bear left slightly it takes you up and over an old railway bridge, through open fields and farmland and brings you out at Mitton Road. Can get a bus from there or carry on walking down and grab a pint and something to eat at the Aspinall Arms which is open as normal and has a huge beer garden overlooking the river so you an sit outside with Hugo too.

    Bus stop right outside the pub as well so you can jump on from there and head home 😀

  3. Lovely once again & definitely worth another visit. I love the old abbeys &ruins in UK & we try and explore some whilst we over. Hope we get there again eventually. None here to explore, though the old penal settlement of Port Arthur in Tasmania is fascinating & basically in ruins. Have you been to Sawley Abbey? We found that good & & no-one around the day we visited some years ago. Thanks for sharing, take care, stay safe & huggles.

  4. A lovely walk indeed. I think my favourite abbey has to be Fountains Abbey, not near me anymore. Yes there is an old abbey within about 15 minutes walk, but is part of private property, which makes me sad, I can only admire from afar.

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