Vikings in Whalley

Today, Whalley is a large village in Lancashire’s Ribble Valley but centuries ago it was far more significant. Its large abbey put Whalley on the map, although it was short-lived: building started in 1330 but only finished in 1480. Less than 60 years later the abbey was closed after the dissolution of the monasteries and soon afterwards it was largely demolished.

Beside the ruined abbey sits the parish church (St Mary and All Saints) which is more ancient. The present building dates from the 13th century but the site goes back much further. In the churchyard are three Viking crosses, thought to be 10th century. They are all quite different but they all stand tall in the churchyard. They all have intricate carvings typical of Viking crosses.