Gawthorpe Hall, Burnley Road, Padiham,, near Burnley,, BB12 8UA – Visit Now
A spectacular, brooding Elizabethan manor, Gawthorpe Hall has been referred to as the Downton of the North. A stunning National Trust property with manicured gardens, the star attraction here is its renowned textiles collection with 11,000 pieces painstakingly collected by Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth, which has been grown by the museum to 30,000 pieces.
An avid maker, Rachel was captivated by textiles and techniques, from lace making to embroidery, weaving to print. A step ahead of others, she saw the importance of maintaining these skills, and the joy and sense of well-being making could bring to crafters.
These collections include costume, clothing, accessories, cloth and fabric samplers curated along with the equipment required to make these creations. This collection documents a beautiful legacy of global textiles and the incredible handiwork of five centuries of craft. This is particularly pertinent in a county that built its industry on textiles manufacturing.
Today the hall continues Rachel’s good work, by promoting textile techniques through education programmes, talks and community textiles projects with particular attention to ethical and sustainable textiles. Plan ahead, and you could time your trip to the hall with one of their in-house workshops or talks on the collections.
Gawthorpe Hall is often used as a programme venue for events such as the British Textile Biennial, seeing their converted barn space turned into an exhibition hall for contemporary textiles artists such as Alice Kettle.
Set on the edge of The Stubbins Estate and Holcombe Moor, the gardens allow for some gentle strolls around the property, but more adventurous hikers may venture out into the mass of public access farmlands and moors. The National Trust website offers up a circular walk of about 2 miles which takes in sweeping views of Chatterton and a trip to Tentering Tower, a unique building that was used to dry the cloth woven by the mills below, taking advantage of the hilltop breeze. However, these walks begin a 30 minute drive from the hall across the mass of 436 acres of land it encompasses.