The Shay Cross, Grade II Listed Monument

The cross we see today looks quite ancient but, in fact, it is only the base that is medieval because the rest is a 19th century restoration. The only original part is the 13th century base the rest of the original probably cross was destroyed at the reformation, this was a former way-side cross or perhaps a funeral cross where coffins were rested on the way to Whalley church. Originally called ‘The White Cross’ (whitewashed), and also ‘Paslew’s Cross’ after abbot John Paslew who was born in the village of Wiswell.

Legend says that John Paslew’s ghost still walks between Shay Cross and his former home Wiswell Hall (now demolished, Wiswell Hall Farm is a later building on a different site to the old hall) Paslew, the last abbot of Whalley Abbey was executed probably at Lancaster in March 1537 for being implicated in the Pilgrimage of Grace as well as for his Christian faith which he refused to give up.


Whitaker Terence W., Lancashire’s Ghosts and Legends, Robert Hale, London 1980.

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