Whalley, Lancashire

Whalley /ˈhwɔːli/ is a large village and civil parish in the Ribble Valley on the banks of the River Calder in Lancashire, England. It is overlooked by Whalley Nab, a large wooded hill over the river from the village. The population of the civil parish was 2,645 at the census of 2001,[2] and increased to 3,629 at the census of 2011.[1] Watercolour artist Thomas Frederick Worrall painted two scenes entitled Whalley from the Nab and Whalley Nab from Stoneyhurst, c. 1900, which are available on the Watercolour World web site.

The main road through Whalley is King Street, which leads through to Clitheroe Road. Neighbouring Whalley are the small villages of Wiswell, Billington, Barrow, and Read. Close by is Downham village and Pendle Hill which was made famous in William Harrison Ainsworth's book "The Lancashire Witches".[3]

2012 07 24 Whalley St. Mary's 13

St. Mary and All Saints Church, Whalley
Whalley is located in the Borough of Ribble Valley
Shown within Ribble Valley
Whalley is located in Lancashire
Location within Lancashire
Population3,629 (Parish 2011)[1]
OS grid referenceSD735365
Civil parish
  • Whalley
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtBB7
Dialling code01254
AmbulanceNorth West
EU ParliamentNorth West England
UK Parliament


Whalley Viaduct

Known locally as "Whalley Arches", Whalley Viaduct is a 48 span railway bridge crossing the River Calder and a listed structure.

It was built between 1846 and 1850 under the engineering supervision of Terrence Wolfe Flanagan and formed part of the Bolton, Blackburn, Clitheroe and West Yorkshire Railway. It is a red brick arch structure and the longest and largest railway viaduct in Lancashire.[4] It carries the railway, now known as the Ribble Valley Line, 21.3m over the river for 620m.

Whalley Arches
Whalley Arches, east side, from the road

Over 7 million bricks and 12,338 cubic metres of stone were used in construction. 3,000m of timber were used for the arch centring, temporary platforms and the permanent foundation piles. During construction on 6 October 1849, two of the 41 arches then completed collapsed, with the loss of three lives.

The east side of the bridge, nearest the remains of the Abbey, has the only decorative treatment.[5]

Whalley Abbey

The village has the ruins of Whalley Abbey, a 14th-century Cistercian abbey. The monks of Whalley described the site of their abbey beneath Whalley Nab, on the banks of the Calder, as locus benedictus - a blessed place.[6]

Other places of interest

The parish church of St Mary and All Saints dates to 628 in the period when St. Paulinus was said to have preached at Whalley. The church has a large number of notable misericords, eighteen 15th century and four Victorian, the former known to have originated at Whalley Abbey. The church-yard has three Anglo-Saxon crosses [3].

Whalley Church tower
Whalley St Mary and All Saints parish church tower

It also contains war graves of 8 servicemen of World War I and 5 of World War II.[7] A Roman Catholic church, The English Martyrs, lies near the Abbey. Until the 1980s there was a girls' boarding school called Whiteacre. The village has a total of 23 listed buildings at Grade I, II* and II.

Calder's waterfall and isles

The River Calder has a man made weir section at Whalley, which supposedly allowed the monks of Whalley Abbey to collect water easily. It has been suggested that was one of the main reasons for the abbey being built where it was. The river here has two small islands made of pebbles and rocks.

The dam/weir was built to guide water to a channel, that fed a water wheel in the Corn Mill, (there is a sluice gate where the dam meets the channel, this turns the wheel on and off) this gave power to grind the various products (Wheat, Barley etc.). The power to the Mill was all belt driven through a pulley system. The mill has now been transformed into flats, but you can still see the remains of the wheel through an opening at the back of the building.

Shops and amenities

Whalley has many independent shops, hairdressers, numerous take-aways and estate agents, a SPAR and a new Coop in the former Whalley Arms pub, a Lloyds Pharmacy and wine shop. The centre of the town is dominated by three pubs - The Dog, The Swan Hotel (established in 1780) and The DeLacy Arms. There is also a small night club named Rendezvous (Rio's) and a public library,[8] doctors' surgery and an adult learning centre.

Whalley is home to the Calderstones Partnership NHS Mental Health Trust. The hospital was founded in 1915 as "Queen Mary's Military Hospital". It then became "Whalley Asylum" and eventually, from 1929 to 1993, "Calderstones Hospital".[9]

The hospital has a burial ground, at the end of which is the Whalley (Queen Mary's Hospital) Cemetery, containing 42 graves of Commonwealth service personnel (primarily military patients), 33 from World War I and nine from World War II, together with a memorial to nearly 300 servicemen who died in the hospital. The cemetery is accessible via the more recently established Ribble Valley Remembrance Park.[10]

Oakhill College is an independent Roman Catholic school located in the village.


There are hourly trains from Whalley railway station to Blackburn and Manchester Victoria running over the imposing Whalley Viaduct. These are operated by Northern.

There are also many bus services to the surrounding Lancashire, North Yorkshire and Greater Manchester towns including Accrington, Blackburn, Burnley, Clitheroe, Longridge, Skipton from the village's central street and Whalley Bus Station. Bus services are operated by Blackburn Bus Company, Burnley Bus Company, Pilkington Bus and Preston Bus.

The small bus station consists of three stands for buses heading south. Buses heading north, towards Clitheroe and beyond, use the bus stop located almost opposite, on King Street, the main street running through the village.


A local club staged speedway meetings at Dean's Pleasure Grounds in the late 1920s. The track was very small and only two riders were allowed to race at any one time. A contemporary photo shows the track on flat land adjacent to a river and the showground with a helter-skelter. Today there are sports facilities including tennis courts, football pitches, a bowling green and cricket ground. In 1867, Whalley hosted the first Roses Match between Lancashire County Cricket Club and Yorkshire County Cricket Club at Station Road.[11]


Whalley Pickwick Night (named after the Charles Dickens novel The Pickwick Papers) is an event in December of each year with people in Victorian costume to raise funds for charity. The first event was in the 1980s as a late night (6pm–9 pm) Christmas shopping event, and in more recent years has since expanded with stalls, indoor events and a religious service.[12][13][14]

The town participates with the adjacent village of Billington in "Billington and Whalley Brass Band Club."


Whalley Flooding 2015

Whalley was severely affected by flooding in December 2015. Hundreds of homes were damaged and many residents required rescue as flood water from the nearby River Calder engulfed their homes. The restoration of many homes damaged by the flood remains in progress.


Whalley Saxon Cross 1

Anglo-Saxon cross in the churchyard of St Mary and All Saints parish church

Whalley Saxon Cross 2

Second Anglo-Saxon cross in the churchyard

Whalley Saxon Cross 3

Third Anglo-Saxon cross in the churchyard

Whalley Arches detail

Whalley Arches, east side, detail

Whalley Gateway from the west 028

Whalley Gateway from the west'

Whalley Gateway from east

Whalley Gateway from the east

Terrace Row, Whalley

Terrace Row, Grade II listed

Swan Hote, Whalley

The Swan Hotel

See also


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Whalley Parish (1170215137)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  2. ^ Office for National Statistics - 2001 Census Data, accessed 10 January 2011
  3. ^
  4. ^ Engineering Timelines - Whalley Viaduct
  5. ^ The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Vol 1, 1969, J. Marshall, David and Charles, Newton Abbot
  6. ^ Whalley Abbey
  7. ^ [1] CWGC Cemetery Report. Breakdown obtained from casualty record.
  8. ^ "Welcome to the Library and Information Service web site - Whalley Home Page". Lancashire County Council. Retrieved 26 February 2008.
  9. ^ Calderstones NHS Trust, Clitheroe at nationalarchives.gov.uk
  10. ^ [2] CWGC Cemetery Report.
  11. ^ Cox, Richard William; Vamplew, Wray; Jarvie, Grant (2000). Encyclopedia of British sport. ABC-CLIO. p. 329. ISBN 978-1-85109-344-1. OCLC 45914207.
  12. ^ "Dickens of a fundraiser". Lancashire Telegraph. Blackburn: Newsquest Media Group. 19 May 2007. Retrieved 6 November 2008.
  13. ^ "Pickwick Night safe". Clitheroe Advertiser & Times. Johnston Publishing. 9 November 2007. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2008.
  14. ^ "Sixteen Years of Whalley's Yuletide Festivities". This is Lancashire. Newsquest Media Group. Archived from the original on 14 December 2004. Retrieved 6 November 2008.

External links

Bernard Reidy

Bernard Wilfrid Reidy is a first-class cricketer. Born in Whalley, Lancashire in 1953, he played for Lancashire in first-class cricket from 1973 to 1982 and played his last one day match in 1989. A burly left-handed all rounder, he took 60 first-class wickets with his medium paced swing and scored 3641 runs at 26.77 with 2 centuries and a best of 131* . He scored 1432 runs and took 71 wickets in the one day arena. He went on to play Minor county cricket for Cumberland.

Borough of Pendle

Pendle is a local government district and borough of Lancashire, England. It adjoins the Lancashire boroughs of Burnley and Ribble Valley, the North Yorkshire district of Craven and the West Yorkshire districts of Calderdale and the City of Bradford. It has a total population of 90,700 (mid-2017 est.).

Calderstones Hospital

Calderstones Hospital is a mental health facility near to Whalley, Lancashire, England. It is managed by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Calderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Calderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust based in Whalley, Lancashire, England, was a provider of services for people with a Learning Disability or other developmental disorders in the North West of England. It became a Foundation Trust in 2009.

It provides an on-site assessment and treatment facility with hospital based care in Whalley and a community service that includes more than 40 houses across the North West. Some of the land formerly used by the institution has been sold off for housing.

In 2001 the Trust cared for 375 people, 211 at Calderstones, and 164 in the community. 85 people were admitted through the courts.Calderstones was once the centre of Lancashire’s institutional care, with 3 hospitals, Brockhall Certified Institution, Langho Epileptic Colony and Calderstones Certified Institution in close proximity.Calderstones Hospital was managed by Burnley District Health Authority from 1974 to 1982 when it passed to Lancashire Area Health Authority.In June 2015 it was reported to be considering a merger with Mersey Care NHS Trust. It currently has a turnover of £42 million per year, and it will be reducing the number of beds from 215 to 182.It was named by the Health Service Journal as one of the top hundred NHS trusts to work for in 2015. At that time it had 1396 full-time equivalent staff and a sickness absence rate of 6.1%. 61% of staff recommend it as a place for treatment and 62% recommended it as a place to work.In October 2015 it was announced that the hospital would be closed and the Trust abolished by July 2016. Merseycare is to take over the remains of the organisation.

Church of St Mary and All Saints, Whalley

The Church of St Mary and All Saints is an Anglican church in the village of Whalley, Lancashire, England. It is an active parish church in the Diocese of Blackburn. A church probably existed on the site in Anglo-Saxon times and the current building dates from the 13th century. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building.

David Pearson (cricketer)

David John Pearson (born 16 April 1963) is a former English cricketer. Pearson was a left-handed batsman who fielded as a wicket-keeper. He was born in Whalley, Lancashire.

Pearson made his debut for Cumberland in the 1990 Minor Counties Championship against Bedfordshire. Pearson played Minor counties cricket for Cumberland from 1990 to 2000, including 74 Minor Counties Championship matches and 21 MCCA Knockout Trophy matches. In 1994, he made his List A debut against Leicestershire in the NatWest Trophy. He played nine further List A matches for Cumberland, the last of which came against Kent in the 2000 NatWest Trophy. In his ten List A matches, he scored 136 runs at a batting average of 13.60, with a high score of 30. In the field he took 4 catches.He also played Second XI cricket for the Lancashire Second XI and the Leicestershire Second XI.

John William Sunderland

John William Sunderland (16 February 1896 – 24 November 1945), known as Bill Sunderland, was an English Labour Party politician.

After serving in the First World War, Sunderland became secretary of the Todmorden Weavers Association, and a member of Lancashire County Council, serving as group leader.

He was elected as Member of Parliament for Preston at the July 1945 general election, defeating Randolph Churchill and Edward Cobb, but four months later he died suddenly at Barrow, near Whalley, Lancashire, while visiting a children's school, aged 49.

Listed buildings in Whalley, Lancashire

Whalley is a civil parish in Ribble Valley, Lancashire, England. It contains 29 listed buildings that are recorded in the National Heritage List for England. Of these, three are listed at Grade I, the highest of the three grades, one is at Grade II*, the middle grade, and the others are at Grade II, the lowest grade. The parish contains the small town of Whalley and surrounding countryside. The town has a long history and this is reflected in the oldest listed buildings, the parish church and the abbey. Most of the other listed buildings consist of houses and shops in the town. In addition there are two public houses, a sundial in the churchyard, a former school, a former corn mill, a war memorial and, outside the town, farmhouses and farm buildings, and a railway viaduct.

Martin Paul

Martin Paul (born 2 February 1975 in Whalley, Lancashire) is an English former professional footballer.

Paul began his career as a trainee with Bristol Rovers. He played 29 first-team games before being released in 1996. He joined Doncaster Rovers, but in November 1996 joined Bath City. After initially struggling to establish himself, Paul became a regular goalscorer for Bath, including scoring 30 goals in the 1998-99 season to be the top scorer in the Southern League.He was sold to Newport County in May 2001 for £3,000, from where he moved to Chippenham Town, again for a four-figure fee, in July 2002. He returned to Bath City in February 2005. However, his second spell with Bath was not as successful as his first and he left to join Mangotsfield United in December 2005.He was linked with a move to Paulton Rovers in September 2006, and later played for Chippenham before retiring during the 2006-07 season. He did however come out of retirement to play for Bath City in their Errea cup tie against Tiverton Town in January 2007, and began playing in their league side again while on non-contract terms.

In February 2008 he signed again for Chippenham Town.

Oakhill College, Whalley

Oakhill College is a coeducational independent Roman Catholic school, situated in the village of Whalley (near the town of Clitheroe) in rural Lancashire, England.

Peter Drinkwater

Peter Drinkwater (1750 – 15 November 1801) was an English cotton manufacturer and merchant.

Born in Whalley, Lancashire, he had a successful career as a fustian manufacturer using the domestic putting-out system, and as a merchant based in Bolton and Manchester, before he turned to large-scale factory production in the 1780s.In 1782 he opened his first cotton mill on the River Weaver in Northwich, Cheshire and in 1789 he started construction of the Piccadilly Mill in Manchester. This was the first mill in Manchester to be directly driven by a steam engine.

Richard Dugdale (demoniac)

Richard Dugdale (c.1670 - ??), a domestic gardener and servant from Surey, near Whalley, Lancashire, became notable as a result of the publication of a number of pamphlets describing his apparent possession by the devil, and subsequent exorcism.

Sir Ralph Assheton, 2nd Baronet, of Middleton

Sir Ralph Assheton, 2nd Baronet (11 February 1651 – 3 May 1716) was an English politician.

Baptised on 19 February 1651 in Middleton in Lancashire, he was the son of Sir Ralph Assheton, 1st Baronet, of Middleton, and Anne Assheton. Assheton was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford, where he matriculated in 1668. In 1665, he succeeded to his father's baronetcy and in 1696, he inherited the family's estates in Downham near Whalley, Lancashire from his uncle Sir John Assheton, 4th Baronet, of Lever.

From 1677 to 1679, Assheton was Member of Parliament (MP) for Liverpool from March 1677 to 1679 and from 1694 to 1698 for Lancashire. He died, aged 65 and was buried in Middleton and was succeeded by his nephew Sir Ralph Assheton, 3rd Baronet.

Assheton had married firstly Mary Vavasour, daughter of Thomas Vavasour and secondly Mary Hyde, daughter of Robert Hyde. He had one son and three daughters by his first wife.

Station Road Ground

Station Road Ground is a cricket ground located off Station Road in Whalley, Lancashire. The ground is bordered to the north and west by other sports fields, while to the south it is bordered by residential housing and to the east by the Ribble Valley Line and Whalley railway station.

The ground was established in 1860, five years after the founding of Whalley Cricket Club. The first recorded match on the ground was in 1864, when Whalley played an All-England Eleven. Three years later the ground held the only first-class match to be played there, between Lancashire played Yorkshire in what was the first Roses Match. Yorkshire won this first fixture by an innings and 56 runs, with Lancashire's Arthur Appleby taking the first five wicket haul in the match with 6/62 in Yorkshire's first-innings, but he surpassed by Yorkshire's George Freeman who took 7/10 in Lancashire first-innings and 5/41 in their follow-on. The ground is still used by Whalley Cricket Club.

Stephen Poulter (swimmer)

Stephen J. "Steve" Poulter (born 18 February 1961, in Whalley, Lancashire) is a British swimmer, who competed at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics.

Thomas Jollie

Thomas Jollie (1629–1703) was an English Dissenter, a minister ejected from the Church of England for his beliefs.

Whalley Abbey

Whalley Abbey is a former Cistercian abbey in Whalley, Lancashire, England. After the dissolution of the monasteries, the abbey was largely demolished and a country house was built on the site. In the 20th century the house was modified and it is now the Retreat and Conference House of the Diocese of Blackburn. The ruins of the abbey are recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building, and are a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

William Brooks of Blackburn

William Brooks (1762–1846) was a supplier of cotton to spinners around Whalley and Blackburn.

He was the son of John Brooks of Waddington, Lancashire.

He went into partnership with Roger Cunliffe, of the Cunliffe family of Great Harwood, who had been mercers since Elizabethan times. At first cotton manufacturing was the main activity, but in 1792 they founded Cunliffe Brooks Bank at Blackburn. On Brooks' death in 1846 the bank moved its head office to Manchester.

He had married Sarah Greenall, the daughter of Richard Greenall They had three sons, including John and Samuel and a daughter, Nancy. They lived near Whalley, Lancashire.

Geography of the Borough of Ribble Valley
& suburbs

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