Living Heritage

A designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Ribble Valley is infused with a wonderfully rich heritage. From early Roman settlements, to more recent sites of Victorian industry, the borough’s landscape reveals glimpses of almost every period of British history. While statues and abbeys remain standing from centuries gone by, more recently constructed museums and trails bring the past to life via informative signage and interactive displays. Here are just some of our major heritage features:


Founded in 1593, Stonyhurst College attracts visitors from far and wide. Its breathtaking grounds and magical interior make it the perfect location for taking a step back in time. Interestingly, the independent school even served as a place of literary inspiration for the author J.R.R. Tolkien. A further reason to visit Stonyhurst is its Old Chapel Museum, which exhibits treasured artefacts pertaining to the likes of Shakespeare and more. Open to the public, the museum is accessible on selected dates throughout the academic year.
For more information go to Stonyhurst



Clitheroe Castle

Clitheroe CastleIt’s free to climb onto the Castle Walls and to the top of the Castle Keep in Clitheroe where you can enjoy spectacular views across the town and the whole Ribble Valley. Children can get their hands on history in the interactive galleries and exhibitions at the award winning Clitheroe Castle Museum, where there’s a year round programme of themed activities for all ages.  Using screens and computer technology, you’ll be taken on a journey through 350 million years of history, heritage and geology of the local area. It’s also here that you can find out about the facts, fables and folklore of the Pendle Witches, who were involved in the most famous witchcraft trails in English History. To find out more go to Clitheroe Castle


Whalley Abbey

In the tranquil grounds of Whalley Abbey atmospheric ruins of a large Cistercian monastery can be discovered with daily tours of the ruins available with a costumed guide in a monk’s habit. Further up the Ribble Valley, Sawley Abbey is another historic site where you can wander

Ribble Valley

among the remains of a Cistercian abbey founded way back in 1148. 


Pendle Witches

Pendle HillDominating landscape to the south of Ribble Valley is the mysterious Pendle Hill, an area steeped in the history of witchcraft. In 1612, ten people were executed having been found guilty of witchcraft in this area. The evidence given against the so-called ‘Pendle Witches’ was based on memories, hearsay and superstition, and would not be considered in a modern court. But life was very different 400 years ago; religious persecution was rife and people lived in wretched fear and poverty. Now, over 400 years later, you have the chance to follow the journey taken by the accused witches, to learn about their lives and the trial that made British history. From the untamed moorlands of Pendle Hill, you can take a journey of discovery through Lancashire’s dramatic and historic past.

Roman Ribchester

Stone engravingA museum steeped in historical significance, which dates back over 100 years. It has benefitted from heritage lottery funding and European grants in order to make it a modern day exhibition of the Roman history in Ribble Valley. The museum contains a magnitude of excavated artefacts that date back to the Roman settlements of Ribchester. The original Roman site, known as Bremetennacum Veteranorum, was as established in the early 70s AD. As well as the various artefacts that the museum displays visitors can also view a new interactive 3D model of the site. A number of special events are also held at various times throughout the year, which can include full reconstructions of Roman times. For more information go to Roman Museum

Browsholme Hall

browsholme hallDid you know that Browsholme Hall is the oldest family home in Lancashire? Dating back 14 generations, the privately-owned Elizabethan home offers guided tours of its magnificent interior and external architecture. From May to September, the public can visit every Wednesday from 11:30am to 4:00pm, with guided tours taking place at hourly intervals in the afternoon. Over the Christmas period, guests can discover how beautifully the house has been decorated for the festive season.
For more information go to Browsholme Hall

Holmes Mill

A stone’s throw from Clitheroe Castle, you will find the former textile mill, Holmes Mill, first established in 1823. In recent years Holmes Mill has been developed into a second-to-none leisure venue. Surrounded by gorgeous décor and original Victorian-style features, including a

Ribble Valley

large mill engine, visitors can explore everything the mill has to offer, from a food court and hotel, to a beer hall housing what is said to be the longest bar in Britain.
For more information go to Holmes Mill


Copyright - Ribble Valley Borough Council 2023.