Place:Whalley, Lancashire, England

Alt namesWalleisource: Domesday Book (1985) p 156
TypeAncient parish, Parish
Coordinates53.824°N 2.404°W
Located inLancashire, England
Also located inWest Riding of Yorkshire, England    
See alsoBlackburn Hundred, Lancashire, Englandhundred in which it was part located
Staincliffe and Ewcross Wapentake, West Riding of Yorkshire, Englandwapentake in which it was located
Clitheroe Rural, Lancashire, Englandrural district in which the parish was situated 1894-1974
Ribble Valley (borough), Lancashire, Englanddistrict municipality in which Clitheroe has been located since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the following article is based on one in Wikipedia and notes from GENUKI

Whalley is since 1974 a large village in the district municipality of Borough of Ribble Valley on the banks of the River Calder in Lancashire, England. From 1894 until 1974 Whalley was situated in the Clitheroe Rural District. It is overlooked by Whalley Nab, a large picturesque wooded hill over the river from the village. The population of the civil parish was 2,645 at the UK census of 2001, and had increased to 3,629 at the UK census of 2011.

The main road through Whalley is King Street, which leads through to Clitheroe Road. Neighbouring Whalley are the small villages of Wiswell, Billington, Barrow (Wiswell), and Read. Close by is Downham village and Pendle Hill which was made famous in William Harrison Ainsworth's book The Lancashire Witches.

Image:Clitheroe Rural.png

Whalley ancient parish

Before being made a civil parish in 1866 Whalley was both an ancient ecclesiastical parish and a specific township within the same parish. In 1835 the parish of Whalley contained 45 townships and covered more than 100,000 acres. This area was spread over parts of both Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire. In 1894 were broken up into at least four different rural districts. The individual townships (now parishes) are listed in GENUKI and in British History Online (see references below).

The parish church of St Mary and All Saints dates to 628 and for centuries was the sole place of worship for the whole parish. As outlying settlements grew to "townships" they became "chapelries" where "chapels of rest" were built so that inhabitants could worship closer to their homes with the services being conducted by clergymen from the church in Whalley. Population began to expand in the 19th century. This was due to the introduction of spinning and weaving mills which could employ hundreds of people under one roof and also, in some places, the digging of coalmines.

In 1866 many of the townships were made into civil parishes with their own administrations and civil record keeping. Prior to that many of the records of births, marriages and deaths would have been recorded and held in the church at Whalley. The list of Sources for Whalley can be found under "What links here" in the tabs on the left. This list includes many Sources for the townships and these will be repeated under "What links here" for the relevant township. Many townships were too small to have separate registers and entries for people in these places will be found only under Whalley.

Queen Mary's Military Hospital

The hospital was founded in 1915 to care for casualties of World War 1. After the end of the war it became "Whalley Asylum" and eventually, from 1929 to 1993, "Calderstones Hospital" (after the owners of the hospital). There is a burial ground, at the end of which is the Whalley (Queen Mary's Hospital) Cemetery, containing 42 graves of Commonwealth service personnel (primarily military patients) - 33 from World War I and nine from World War II - together with a memorial to nearly 300 servicemen who died in the hospital.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Whalley, Lancashire.

Research Tips

  • See the Wikipedia articles on parishes and civil parishes for descriptions of this lowest rung of local administration. The original parishes were ecclesiastical, under the jurisdiction of the local priest. A parish covered a specific geographical area and was sometimes equivalent to that of a manor. Sometimes, in the case of very large rural parishes, there were chapelries where a "chapel of ease" allowed parishioners to worship closer to their homes. In the 19th century the term civil parish was adopted to define parishes with a secular form of local government. In WeRelate both civil and ecclesiastical parishes are included in the type of place called a "parish". Smaller places within parishes, such as chapelries and hamlets, have been redirected into the parish in which they are located. The names of these smaller places are italicized within the text.
  • Rural districts were groups of geographically close civil parishes in existence between 1894 and 1974. They were formed as a middle layer of administration between the county and the civil parish. Inspecting the archives of a rural district will not be of much help to the genealogist or family historian, unless there is need to study land records in depth.
  • Civil registration or vital statistics and census records will be found within registration districts. To ascertain the registration district to which a parish belongs, see Registration Districts in Lancashire, part of the UK_BMD website.
  • Lancashire Online Parish Clerks provide free online information from the various parishes, along with other data of value to family and local historians conducting research in the County of Lancashire.
  • FamilySearch Lancashire Research Wiki provides a good overview of the county and also articles on most of the individual parishes (very small or short-lived ones may have been missed).
  • Ancestry (international subscription necessary) has a number of county-wide collections of Church of England baptisms, marriages and burials, some from the 1500s, and some providing microfilm copies of the manuscript entries. There are specific collections for Liverpool (including Catholic baptisms and marriages) and for Manchester. Their databases now include electoral registers 1832-1935. Another pay site is FindMyPast.
  • A map of Lancashire circa 1888 supplied by A Vision of Britain through Time includes the boundaries between the parishes and the hamlets within them.
  • A map of Lancashire circa 1954 supplied by A Vision of Britain through Time is a similar map for a later timeframe.
  • GENUKI provides a website covering many sources of genealogical information for Lancashire. The organization is gradually updating the website and the volunteer organizers may not have yet picked up all the changes that have come with improving technology.
  • The Victoria County History for Lancashire, provided by British History Online, covers the whole of the county in six volumes (the seventh available volume [numbered Vol 2] covers religious institutions). The county is separated into its original hundreds and the volumes were first published between 1907 and 1914. Most parishes within each hundred are covered in detail. Maps within the text can contain historical information not available elsewhere.
  • A description of the parish of Whalley from British History Online (Victoria County Histories), published 1911. This includes a map showing all the townships (47) that were part of the ancient parish which ceased to exist in the mid-19th century. Chapters for each of these townships follow that of the ancient parish.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Whalley. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.