Towneley Park

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Towneley Hall
Towneley Hall edit.jpg
Towneley Hall from the front
Location Burnley, Lancashire
Coordinates 53°46′26″N 2°13′21″W / 53.7738°N 2.2225°W / 53.7738; -2.2225Coordinates: 53°46′26″N 2°13′21″W / 53.7738°N 2.2225°W / 53.7738; -2.2225
Area 180 hectares
Listed Building – Grade I
Official name: Towneley Hall
Designated 10 November 1951
Reference no. 1247299 (Hall)
Official name: Ice house at Towneley Hall
Reference no. 1005089
Listed Building – Grade II
Official name: Towneley Hall
Designated 1 April 1986
Reference no. 1000954 (Park and Garden)
Towneley Park is located in Burnley
Towneley Park
Location of Towneley Hall in Burnley

Towneley Park is owned and managed by Burnley Borough Council and is the largest and most popular park in Burnley, Lancashire, England.[1] The main entrance to the park is within a mile of the town centre and the park extends to the south east, covering an area of some 180 hectares (440 acres). At the southern end of the park is Towneley Hall, Burnley's art gallery and museum. To the north are golf courses and playing fields and to the south 24 acres of broadleaf woodland. On the southern boundary is a working farm called Towneley Farm with pastures and plantations extending eastwards into Cliviger.


The hall was the home of the Towneley family from around 1200. The family once owned extensive estates in and around Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire.[2] The hall not only contains the 15th-century Whalley Abbey vestments, but also has its own chapel – with a finely carved altarpiece made in Antwerp around 1525.[3] The male line of the family died out in 1878 and in 1901 one of the daughters, Lady O'Hagan, sold the house together with 62 acres (250,000 m2) of land to Burnley Corporation. The family departed in March 1902.[4]

Between 2005 and 2011 the Heritage Lottery Fund granted £3.2 million to help fund a major programme of restoration of the Park.[5]


The art gallery contains important Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite works by Burne-Jones, Waterhouse, Alma-Tadema and Zoffany.[6] Deer Pond in Towneley Park is a Local Nature Reserve.[7][8]


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.[9] According to writer Daniel Codd, there are later stories of a strange ghostly white apparition that appears by the River Calder.[10]


See also


  1. ^ "Towneley Park Management Plan". Bunley Council. Archived from the original on 31 August 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Welcome". Forest of Bowland. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Towneley Altarpiece". Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Townley Hall". Historic England. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Woman behind £3.2m. Towneley Hall transformation scheme leaves". Burnley Express. 19 April 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Fiona Bruce's Britain: Towneley Hall, Burnley, Lancashire". The Telegraph. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Deer Pond". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  8. ^ "Map of Deer Pond". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  9. ^ John Harland and Thomas Turner Wilkinson (1882). Lancashire Folk-lore. (Reprint E Green Publishing, 1973). p.58-59. ISBN 0854097228
  10. ^ Codd, Daniel (2011). Paranormal Lancashire. Amberley. p.78-79, 149. ISBN 9781445606583

External links

  • Towneley Park - official site at Burnley
  • Towneley Park Management Plan
  • Friends of Towneley Park (Registered Charity Number: 1144988)
  • Historic England. "Towneley Hall (1000954)". National Heritage List for England.
  • Fiona Bruce's Britain - Towneley Hall (The Telegraph)
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