The church of St Mary-All Saints and Mitton Chapel in Whalley


The church of St Mary and All Saints at Whalley, next to, but pre-dating Whalley Abbey has a Mitton chapel that belonged to the Mitton manor according to Dr. T.D. Whitaker in his book The History of the Parish of Whalley. His book includes the layout of the church and location of  Mitton Chapel originally on the left side of the chancel.

                                                                           (please click diagram to enlarge).

The Mitton chapel was originally for the use of the Catterall family and later the Shireburnes of Little Mitton Hall.  


Mitton Chapel now also called Soldiers Chapel at Whalley All Saints

In the Little Mitton Chantry there are two bench ends, each perforated at the head in the form of a cross-raised upon three steps (a cross cavalry), and having a panel of arms below with the date 1638. One shield presents the arms and initials of Francis Paslew of Wiswall; the other, without initials Quarterly, an eagle displayed and a lion rampant, the arms of Shireburne. 

The above is the Catterall brass representing the Catteral family of Little Mitton Hall.  It can be seen on the wall of St Mary’s at Whalley. The brass plate is proximate to the Mitton Chapel inside the church. The Catteralls married into the Mitton family on a least two occasions. The Mitton chapel was for the use of the Catteralls, and later the Shireburnes, of Little Mitton Hall.  The fourth daughter of Ralph Catterall, Jane, married Thomas Shireburne and would be represented as one of the daughters in the above.

The chapel was used as a  chantry chapel for Mass for the soul of King Henry VI until the Reformation.

The glass on the left of Mitton Chapel below is the only reference to King Arthur in any church or chapel in England.


The tomb contains and unknown person.

There is a memorial to the Shireburnes of Little Mitton Hall in the Parish Church at Whalley, recorded in a footnote to the 4th. edition of Whitaker’s Whalley (vol.II, p.11):

“The rich had always bestowed gifts upon the clergy to ease their passage through purgatory, but now they established chantry chapels in their parish churches where mass could be celebrated for the soul of its founder (it was chanted, hence chantry chapel)”. English Churches Explained – Trevor Yorke 2010

Please see: