Towneley Hall Park and Gardens

By Joanne Rowe | Blog

Feb 17

Towneley Hall is about six miles drive from Coldwell Activity Centre. It is a great place to visit for a few hours whilst staying here along with our activities on and off-site.

It is set in 440 acres of parkland, and is the biggest in the local area.

The Hall has a museum that houses a variety of displays, encompassing natural historyEgyptology, local history, textiles, decorative art and regional furniture, together with an art gallery.

You are able to explore the period rooms, art gallery and learn more about Burnley’s history whilst a Mouse Trail through the Museum keeps children entertained.

The art gallery includes a large collection of paintings, focusing on romantic Victorian and pre-Raphaelite art, with some earlier paintings. Of note are the gallery’s Waterhouse paintings (including the original ‘Destiny’), works by Poynter andZoffany, and the ovine-themed paintings of ‘Frozen Mutton’ Farquharson.

In July 2005 the Heritage Lottery Fund granted £2 million to help fund a major programme of restoration of the Park that is still on-going. A previous Heritage Lottery Fund helped to build a museum shop, lecture theatre and offices in the footprint of the old servants’ quarters. This new building was opened in 2002.

There is a huge area of open space to wander around within the grounds, including beautiful gardens, a children’s play area and a large garden centre. There are woodland sculptures, ‘Foldys Cross’, and a cenotaph, and every year there is a classic car show and a balloon festival.

According to folklore, the hall was said to have been haunted by a boggart. This spirit appeared once every seven years, just prior to the death of one of the residents. The boggart was linked to ‘Sir John Towneley’, who in life supposedly oppressed the poor of the district. According to writer Daniel Codd, there are later stories of a strange ghostly white apparition that appears by the River Calder.


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