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.
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.
Distance: 3 miles 5k
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.
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.