Towneley Hall

 

 

Next weekend sees the great celebration of history and culture with Heritage Open Days which were first established in England in 1994. As well as events in established attractions such as museums, parks and halls there are also opportunities to see places of interest which are not open to the public at other times of the year. Interested readers should refer to www.heritageopendays.org.uk for useful information about events in the north west of England.

The Lancashire Dotcom Walking group always meets on a Tuesday so over the past three years has organised its own heritage visits by special arrangement. In 2014 we went to the Municipal cemetery at Blackpool where we were given a talk and tour by one of the volunteer “Friends”. This was followed by a walk through the equally interesting Stanley Park – yes parks are part of our heritage too! The park had a connection with last year’s visit to Lancaster when we started the day at the Westfield Memorial Village also designed by Thomas Mawson one of the great landscape architects of the early part of the 20th century. Afterwards we went onto Lancaster Castle and the Ashton Memorial.
 

This year we have decided to go to Towneley Hall, Burnley. Once the home of the Towneley family for almost 500 years it was sold to Burnley Corporation in 1901 when the male line of the family came to an end. Situated in 400 acres of beautiful parkland Burnley Council have developed the building into an art gallery and museum with fine period rooms decorated with oil paintings and sculptures. Towneley Hall has been called the Jewel in Burnley’s crown but that understates its significance – certainly it is one of Lancashire’s most important buildings and by any measure should be high on the list of national treasures.

Finally the grounds are a great place to walk. Below is a suggested route but readers are recommended to pick up the leaflet (or download it from www.burnley.gov.uk ) entitled “Towneley Walks” and explore the magnificent park at their leisure.

Start/finish: Towneley Hall BB11 3RQ

 

 

Distance: 3 miles 5k

Time: 1½ - 2 hours
 

Grade: Moderate

Map: OS OL21 The South Pennines

 

Map by kind permission of Johnston Press 

Directions: From the entrance area go ahead through automatic doors to the rear of the building with the Museum of Local History to the right.

 

Turn left and then right on a walkway edging a lawn. Where the path divides bear left on a woodland avenue taking you to Foldys Cross.

 

Here turn left on a broad woodland walk that follows the perimeter of the estate.

 

After passing the entrance to Towneley Farm keep right as the path enters Thanet Lee Wood. This will be a particularly rewarding place to visit in a few weeks time when autumn colours are at their best.

 

Follow the path as it bends left and continue to reach a signboard with a helpful map showing you to be Everage Clough on the northern edge of the wood. Exit the wood and turn right onto a drive

 

which soon after turns left along an avenue. After 200yds turn right on a footpath

 

that enters farmland to cross Broad Ing a wide open space. Keep ahead to leave the estate by way of a kissing gate.

 

Now in the residential area of Walk Mill keep ahead along Park Road for a little over 100yds, cross Cliviger Mill Bridge

 

and then turn left onto a drive leading into pastures and taking you to Barcroft Hall and Farm. As you reach the hall bear left

 

cross a cattle grid and aim to the left of the buildings (including the impressive hall) to locate a wooden stile with a Burnley Way waymark.

 

Cross this into pastureland and climb up the incline to a metal kissing gate in a wall.

 

(Keep well to the right of woods). Through this continue in the same direction across a broad upland pasture for 350yds to arrive at Cliviger Laithe.

 

As you reach the drive turn left through two wooden gates to follow a (faint) path downhill to re-enter Towneley Park at a stile in a wooded corner.

 

Keep ahead through the woods, cross the River Calder to reach the wide open spaces of the playing fields. Turn right for the Riverside car park and the main approach to the Hall.

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