Saxon Times

There was a church in Whalley in Saxon times and it was known as “The White Church 
under the Hill” this belief is strengthened by an entry in the Domesday Book in 1086. 
By the time of the Norman Conquest the Church was well established that is was pre-
Norman in its foundation. 

It has been documented that the church was founded between the 7th and 10th centuries.


It was long believed that the three old stone crosses in the churchyard were of 6th. Century origin and commemorated the preaching of Christianity by St. Augustine and/or Paulinus to the local population. Unfortunately the legend is probably not true, the oldest (the southernmost and tallest) of the crosses appears to be 10th. century, but exhibits many Celtic characteristics and includes a Scandinavian image 'The Dog of Berser', a symbol of eternity, adopted by Christians to represent the Creator. It is thought more likely that the crosses may commemorate a Celtic Scottish Mission from Iona. 


Paulinus may well have preached in the area, but in all probability, he was preaching to the converted, and more concerned with 'converting' the locals from the Celtic version of Christianity to the Roman one. In all probability the Romans were the first to introduce Christianity to the Whalley area, but after the Romans left, the Celtic Christian church became more isolated customs departed from those of the church of Rome. (Of great importance in this conflict were the method of calculating the date of Easter, and the Pelagian Heresy.)

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History of St Mary and All Saints Church, Whalley