Sawley Abbey

A view of Sawley Abbey
The ruins of Sawley Abbey

Free Entry

Open daily


Sawley, Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 4NH

Before You Go

The remains of a Cistercian abbey founded in 1148, set against a backdrop of dramatic hills. After its dissolution in 1536, the monks were briefly returned to the abbey during the Pilgrimage of Grace. They remained in possession until the insurrection's collapse and the execution of their abbot.

Read more about the history of the abbey.

Before You Go

Opening Times: Open daily, 10am-5pm April to September, and 10am-4pm October to March. Closed over Christmas and New Year. View details.

Access:  The abbey grounds are largely flat, grassed and interspersed with low level masonry. Limited disabled access.

Parking: On street parking only. 

Other Information: The site is opened daily by a local key keeper and managed locally by the Heritage Trust for the North West.

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Plan a Great Day Out

Sawley Abbey is set by the river, and its grounds make a great spot for a picnic.

The 14th century Whalley Abbey Gatehouse is seven miles from Sawley. It belonged to the nearby Cistercian abbey, which was once the second wealthiest monastery in Lancashire.


The sunrise through the conservatory at Witley Court.

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Your membership provides valuable support for our essential work, while you can enjoy free access to the beauty and inspiration of our magnificent historic places. 


About us

English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and places - from world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to a Cold War bunker. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year. The English Heritage Trust is a charity, no. 1140351, and a company, no. 0744722, registered in England.

How We Are Funded

Our target is to become completely self-funding by 2023. Our confidence in achieving this is based on our track record. During the past 10 years, our commercial income has doubled and we have raised nearly £60m in donated income.

  • 66% Self-generated income
  • 20% One off capital grant
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