Gawthorpe Hall is one of the most impressive stately homes in North West England. It stands on the banks of the River Calder, on the outskirts of Padiham.
The hall dates back to the early 17th century and was the home of the Shuttleworth family until 1970.
In 1850 architect Sir Charles Barry, famous for his redesign of the Houses of Parliament, restored the house and is responsible for much of the opulent interior seen today.
The hall is home to a collection of 17th century paintings on loan from the National Portrait Gallery. The most important is the portrait of King Charles II by John Michael Wright. Others portraits include political theorist James Harrington, dramatist Thomas Killigrew, writer Sir Roger L’Estrange, chemist Robert Boyle (best know for Boyle’s law), and diarist and naval administrator Samuel Pepys.
Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth was the last member of the Shuttleworth family to reside in the hall. She started collecting lace and embroidery as a child and by the time of her death in April 1967 had amassed almost 30,000 items.
Over 500 items are on public display. It is widely regarded as the most important textile collection outside London.
Gawthorpe Hall boasts a packed programme of events and activities. The schedule for 2011 includes guided walks and tours, an Easter egg hunt, talks, craft demonstrations, a classic motorcycle show, a garden party, historical re-enactments, and a Christmas fair. For dates and further details of what’s on visit the official website.
Amenities include a café, toilets, and baby changing facilities.
Gawthorpe Hall is open Tuesday to Thursday and weekends (1 – 5 pm) between April and October. The grounds and surrounding woodland are open daily (10 am – 6 pm) throughout the year.
Gawthorpe Hall is operated by Lancashire County Council on behalf of the National Trust.
Entry is free for children and National Trust members. Admission for adults is £4 (£3 concessions).
Gawthorpe Hall is located in Padiham, around 2 miles northwest of Burnley. Visitors using satellite navigation systems should use the postcode BB12 8UA. Free car parking for 150 vehicles is available.
The training facilities of Burnley FC are located in the grounds.
The Great Barn is a licensed wedding venue and boasts a 100 ft aisle. When used for receptions it can comfortably accommodate 250 guests.
Charlotte Bronte was a friend of the Shuttleworth family and visited the hall in 1850 and 1855. The Bronte Way is A long distance footpath that passes many places associated with the writings of the Bronte sisters.
The 43 mile trail starts in Birstall in West Yorkshire and ends at Gawthorpe Hall.