Whalley, Lancashire

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Coordinates: 53°49′27″N 2°24′15″W / 53.824088°N 2.404050°W / 53.824088; -2.404050

Whalley
Whalley is located in Lancashire
Whalley
Whalley
 Whalley shown within Lancashire
Population 2,645 [1]
OS grid reference SD735365
District Ribble Valley
Shire county Lancashire
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town CLITHEROE
Postcode district BB7
Dialling code 01254
Police Lancashire
Fire Lancashire
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Ribble Valley
List of places
UK
England
Lancashire

Whalley /ˈwɔːli/ is a large village in Ribble Valley on the banks of the River Calder in Lancashire, England. It is overlooked by Whalley Nab, a large picturesque wooded hill over the river from the village.

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".[2]

Landmarks[edit]

Whalley Viaduct[edit]

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 supervison of Terrence Wolfe Flanagan. It is a red brick arch structure and the longest and largest railway viaduct in Lancashire.[3] It carried the Bolton, Blackburn, Clitheroe and West Yorkshire Railway 21.3m over the river for 620m.

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.[4]

Whalley Abbey[edit]

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 Whalley Abbey.

Other places of interest[edit]

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 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.[5]

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[edit]

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[edit]

Whalley has many independent shops, hairdressers, numerous take-aways and estate agents, a SPAR minimarket, Lloyds Pharmacy and wine shop. Barclays Bank has a branch on the main street. The centre of the town is dominated by four pubs - The Dog, The Whalley Arms, The Swan Hotel (established in 1780) and The DeLacy Arms. There is also a small club named Rendezvous (Rio's) and a public library,[6] 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".[7]

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.[8]

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

Transport[edit]

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

There are also many bus services to the surrounding Lancashire, North Yorkshire and Greater Manchester towns and cities including Accrington, Blackburn, Burnley, Bolton, Clitheroe, Darwen, Longridge, Skipton and Manchester from the village's central street and Whalley Bus Station. Most bus services are operated by Transdev in Lancashire, Holmeswood Coaches and M&M Coaches.

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.

Sport[edit]

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.[9]

Culture[edit]

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.[10][11][12]

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

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Office for National Statistics - 2001 Census Data, accessed 10 January 2011
  2. ^
  3. ^ Engineering Timelines - Whalley Viaduct
  4. ^ The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Vol 1, 1969, J. Marshall, David and Charles, Newton Abbot
  5. ^ [1] CWGC Cemetery Report. Breakdown obtained from casualty record.
  6. ^ "Welcome to the Library and Information Service web site - Whalley Home Page". Lancashire County Council. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  7. ^ Calderstones NHS Trust, Clitheroe at nationalarchives.gov.uk
  8. ^ [2] CWGC Cemetery Report.
  9. ^ Cox, Richard William; Vamplew, Wray; Jarvie, Grant (2000). Encyclopedia of British sport. ABC-CLIO. p. 329. ISBN 978-1-85109-344-1. OCLC 45914207. 
  10. ^ "Dickens of a fundraiser". Lancashire Telegraph. Blackburn: Newsquest Media Group. 2007-05-19. Retrieved 2008-11-06. 
  11. ^ "Pickwick Night safe.". Clitheroe Advertiser & Times. Johnston Publishing. 2007-11-09. Retrieved 2008-11-06. 
  12. ^ "Sixteen Years of Whalley’s Yuletide Festivities". This is Lancashire. Newsquest Media Group. Retrieved 2008-11-06. [dead link]

External links[edit]

  • [4] - LANCASHIRE HISTORIC TOWN SURVEY PROGRAMME, WHALLEY, HISTORIC TOWN ASSESSMENT REPORT, Lancashire County Council, May 2006.