Sawley is a picturesque and historic village on the edge of the Forest of Bowland, situated about three miles North East of Clitheroe, on the River Ribble. Historically, it was part of the West Riding of Yorkshire.
The remains of Sawley Abbey, now maintained by English Heritage, dominate this tranquil village. It was founded in 1147 by Cistercian Monks and dissolved in 1536. For centuries after the dissolution, the Abbey provided a source of stone for local farms and buildings. The setting of the Abbey is quite spectacular and offers great views of Pendle Hill. A mediaeval archway, one of two, which used to extend across the road through the village, has been moved and is now the entrance to a field.
Homes and cottages straddle the road, with several outlying properties and farms. On the banks of the Ribble is the popular Spread Eagle, a delightful coaching inn, sitting on the bend of the meandering river.
Sawley Village Hall, in the old school building, is at the heart of the community. A variety of meetings, classes and events are held there. Situated next to the Village Hall is the children’s playground.
The river and the abbey provide a popular destination for visitors, especially in the summer months.