Discover abbey’s heritage

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Whalley Abbey will open its doors to visitors this Sunday (September 9th) as part of the national Heritage Open Days initiative.

As well as free access to the medieval ruins, visitors will also be able to look around the Conference House and Retreat Centre – built in the 16th century on the site of the 13th century Abbot’s house.

The Abbey is set beside the River Calder in the historic Lancashire village and has attractive gardens, with the ruins of the 13th century monastery forming a romantic backdrop. There is a woodland trail for children and an attractive picnic area in the former kitchen gardens.

The conference house is not normally open to the public and is generally used for retreats, meetings and weddings, as well as offering four-star bed and breakfast accommodation. The open day is a rare chance for people to look around the house, which was built after the monastery was closed in 1537.

The house became the home of Tudor gentry and was extended and modified over the years, with 17th century and Victorian additions. The Grade I-listed house and grounds were purchased by the Church of England in 1923.

The Heritage Open Days initiative is supported by English Heritage, the National Trust, the Heritage Alliance and Civic Voice. Its aim is to give people the chance to visit places not normally open to the public. The open days take place from Thursday September 6th to Sunday the 9th. The Abbey grounds are open free of charge throughout this period, with the house open on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.