Tue 14th May 2019
Nigel Neil – Archaeology at Whalley Abbey.
It was a welcome return to the society for Nigel who has nearly
30 years’ archaeology experience, not just at
Whalley Abbey, but on sites ranging from Orkney to
Whalley Abbey was a Cistercian monastery from
1296 to the Dissolution in 1536, with the abbey church being
demolished in 1660. From the Dissolution It was in private hands
until 1922. Since then the site and remaining buildings have had
main 2 owners. Part of it owned by the Church of England,
Diocese of Blackburn and the other by the Roman Catholic Church,
Diocese of Salford.
Nigel provided a detailed picture of
the present state of the site and the ongoing challenges
regarding its repair programme in trying to save and restore
what is left. Thanks to Nigel’s and others’ efforts the history
of the abbey continues to be pieced together.
Artefacts from the abbey are to be
found in many other places including, for example, the Victoria
& Albert Museum, Stonyhurst and Townley Hall.
help of dendrochronology much work has been done in dating the
remaining timbers, giving a better understanding of construction
Much reference was made to images of
similar, existing buildings and to drawings to give a better
picture of how the abbey may have looked in its medieval
message of the evening was Whalley Abbey needs people to visit
and support it enabling the important work, in trying to learn
about and understand its past, to continue.