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WHALLEY, a village, a township, and a sub-district, in Clitheroe district, and a parish partly also in Blackburn, Haslingden, and Burnley districts, chiefly in Lancashire, but partly also in W. R. Yorkshire. The village stands on the river Calder, and on the Clitheroe railway, 3¾ miles S by W of Clitheroe; is a polling place; and has a post-office under Blackburn, a r. station with telegraph and a hotel. The township comprises 1,890 acres. Real property, £4,107. Pop. in 1851, 945; in 1861, 806. Houses, 163. The decrease of pop. arose from discontinuance of employment in print-works. The manor belongs to J. Taylor, Esq. Moreton Hall is the seat of J. Taylor, Esq., and Clerk Hill, of the Whalleys. A Cistertian abbey was founded here in 1296; was purchased, at the dissolution, by the Asshetons and the Braddylls; and has left splendid ruins in early, decorated, and later English architecture. The sub-district contains four townships of W. parish and one of Mitton. Acres, 9,000. Pop., 2,963. Houses, 605. The parish contains forty-eight townships in Lancashire and one in Yorkshire; and is ecclesiastically cut into the sections of Whalley-St. Mary, Accrington, A.-Christchurch, A.-St. John, Altham, Bacup, B.-Christchurch, B.-St. Saviour, Briercliffe, Burnley, B.-St. James, B.-St. Paul, B. -St. Andrew, Chatburn, Church-Kirk, C.-K.-St. Paul, Clayton-le-Moors, Clitheroe, C.-St. James, Colne, C.-Christchurch, C.-Barrowford, Downham, Fence-in-Pendle, Goodshaw, Habergham-Eaves, H.-All Saints, Haslingden, Heyhouses, Holme, Lumb, Great Marsden, Little Marsden, Newchurch-in-Pendle, Newchurch-in-Rossendale, Tunstead, Oswaldtwistle, Padiham, Rawtenstall, Trawden, Whitewell, and Worsthorne. Acres, 105,249. Pop. in 1851, 134,196; in 1861, 167,456. Houses, 32,094. The living of W.-St. Mary is a vicarage in the diocese of Manchester. Value, £310. Patrons, Hulme's Trustees, The church is ancient, and was repaired in 1855. Three ancient crosses are in the churchyard. There are a Wesleyan chapel, an endowed grammar-school with £51 a year and with a share of scholarships at Oxford, a national school, and charities £63. The other livings are noticed in their own several places.

John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)


Archives and Libraries

Local studies information is held at Clitheroe library.




Civil Registration

The Register Office covering the Whalley area is Ribble Valley.


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1868 - The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland

  • "WHALLEY, a parish lying within the counties of Lancaster, Cheshire, and the West Riding of Yorkshire. It is an extensive parish about 30 miles in length, by 15 in breadth, with a population in 1861 of 167,456. The parish includes the municipal and parliamentary borough of Clitheroe, the market towns of Burnley, Colne, and Haslingden, besides the villages, hamlets, or townships of Altham, Barlby, Barrowford, Briercliffe, Chatburn, Church-kirk, Clayton-le-Dale, Cliviger, Coldcoates, Downham, Dunnockshaw, Extwistle, Foulridge, Goldshaw Booth, Habergham-Eaves, now a district parish, Hapton, Henheads, Henthorn, Heyhouses, Higham, Holme, Huncoat, Little Rowland, Little Ireland, Marsden, Great and Little; Meazley, Nelson Station, Old Lund Booth, Padiham, Pendleton, Portsmouth, Read, Reedley Hallows, Rough Lee Booth, Sareden, Simondstone, Sykeside, Trawden, Twiston, Wheatly-Carr-Booth, Wiswell, Worsthome, Worston, West Close Booth, Whitewell, and Wheatley. It anciently included also the present parishes of Blackburn, Chipping, Mitton, Ribchester, Rochdale, and Slaidburn, which have been separated from it at different times. The rivers Calder and Ribble form a junction at the western extremity of the parish, and there are stations of the Bolton, Blackburn, and Clitheroe railway. The village of Whalley, which gives name to this parish, is situated on the river Calder, and contains the ruins of the abbey, founded in 1296 by Henry Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, and now the property of John Taylor, Esq., of Morton Hall. Its revenue at the Dissolution was £551 4s. 6d. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Manchester, value £315, in the patronage of the Hulme trustees. The parish church, dedicated to All Saints, was repaired in 1855, when alterations were made in the interior, which contains several old brasses and monuments, screen work brought from the old abbey, and 18 ancient stalls. There are besides above 50 churches and chapels-of-ease within the limits of this parish, noticed under the several places named above, in which they are situated. The free grammar school founded by Queen Elizabeth was rebuilt in 1725, and has an interest in 13 scholarships founded in Brazenose College, Oxford, by Dr. Nowell in 1572. There are traces of a Roman road, which passed through the parish, and of Roman camps."

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Probate Records

For probate purposes prior to 1858, Whalley was in the Archdeaconry of Chester, in the Diocese of Chester. The original Lancashire wills for the Archdeaconry of Chester are held at the Lancashire Record Office.


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