Sawley Abbey is an important ancient monument nestling close to Pendle Hill and cared for by English Heritage with assistance from Heritage Trust for the North West. While the grounds have been kept in excellent condition by the Trust, the monument itself has slowly declined with the walls shedding mortar and stone fragments and the tiles of the medieval chapel floors damaged by damp and frost action.
It is therefore with some relief to see scaffolding erected for conservation works. Earlier this year, some low walls benefited from lime based mortar repairs and it looks like this is being extended to the main structure where, in parts, medieval undercoat plaster survives. We wish English Heritage well with its conservation work!
There is no charge to visit Sawley Abbey which is off the A59 east of Clitheroe. The Trust opens the monument at 10am and closes it at 5pm, April to October, closing at 4pm thereafter. Pendle Heritage Centre museum has surviving architectural fragments on display with an outline of its history. Sawley was one of three Cistercian Abbeys founded close to Pendle Hill, Whalley and Barnoldswick were the other two, the latter moving to Kirkstall near Leeds in 1152.