Sawley Abbey

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Sawley Abbey

West Riding

Salley Abbey - - 1736378.jpg
Sawley Abbey
Location: 53°54’48"N, 2°20’30"W
Village: Sawley
Order: Cistercian
Founded: 1147
Disestablished: 1536
Owned by: English Heritage
Website: Sawley Abbey

Sawley Abbey was an abbey of Cistercian monks in the village of Sawley, in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Created as a daughter-house of Newminster Abbey, Sawley existed from 1147 until its dissolution in 1536, during the reign of King Henry VIII. A monk here, William de Remmyngton went on to become Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 1372-3. The last two abbots of Sawley were both put to death. Thomas Bolton was executed as a consequence of his resistance to the dissolution[1][2] and William Trafford, the last Abbot, was executed in Lancaster on the 10th March 1537 alongside John Paslew, the last Abbot of Whalley Abbey, for alleged involvement in the Pilgrimage of Grace.

The ruins of Sawley Abbey, which are now controlled by English Heritage, are open to the public. Although not an extensive ruin, there are boards on the site that give information regarding the history of the abbey and its former inhabitants. Today, parts of the church and refectory can still be seen.

The abbey is a Grade I listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument.[3]

In March 2009, Sawley Abbey was featured in the first episode of series 3 of the TV series The Tudors.


Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Sawley Abbey)


  1. The Northern Clergy and the Pilgrimage of Grace: Altazin, Keith (PDF)
  2. Knowles, David; Knowles, Dom David (1979-09-27) (in en). The Religious Orders in England. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521295680. 
  3. National Heritage List 1072099: Sawley Abbey