A walk around Towneley Hall with David and Nikki
I have visited the grand Towneley Hall a few times now, sometimes to events or just to view the grade 1 listed building, and sometimes because it makes a great backdrop for photography!
Set in the beautiful 284 acre, Townely Park, the current hall dates from the 14th and 16th centuries though today the appearance is of the early 18th century when it was last rebuilt.
The Hall is now owned by Burnley council and used as an Art Gallery and Museum. It holds collections of oil paintings, early English watercolours, period furnitures, 18th century glassware, archaeology, Whalley Abbey vestments (dating from 1390-1420), East Lancashire Regiment memorabilia, natural history (not to mention the Towneley Black Himalayan Bear!) and exhibitions on loan. It is also available for weddings!
The history of the Towneley’s dates back to the early 12th century when Geoffrey married the daughter of Roger de Lacy and was granted land and permission to build a dwelling. As generation after generation of Towneley’s succeeded each other the family grew in importance, some of the more gallant Towneley male members gained distinction on the field of battle.
During the years many alterations to the hall have been made including major rebuilding. The only remaining part from the 14th century is a six feet thick sandstone wall on the courtyard side of the South East Wing. A close look at the wall also reveals a half hidden window at ground level. This tells us that the ground level has been raised at some point, probably during the 17th century. Up until the early 1700’s the hall had four wings, but the fourth side was demolished. Towneley Hall also boasts secret rooms known as priest holes. These were used as hiding places during the persecution of Catholics during Elizabethan times. One of the hides still exists beneath the a floor close to the Long Gallery.
During its long history the Hall past through the Towneley’s before finally being handed over to the Burnley council by Lady O’Hagan, daughter of Charles Towneley in 1902.
The History of the hall is way too large to go into in this blog, so why not take a visit and have a look around inside. The Hall is open to the public and admission is only £3.50. Take a walk around the grounds, there are woodland walks, squirrels to feed and nature trails to follow. The park also contains two golf courses, play areas, tennis courts, sports pitches, a bowling green, picnic areas and facilities for football and cricket. And if this wasn’t enough there is also a souvenir / gift shop, cafeteria and an organic community garden.
For me it was the ideal place to suggest meeting David and Nikki. This will be the third time I have had the pleasure of photographing them, first we had a pre wedding shoot at the equally impressive Gawthorpe Hall and then a few months later for their wedding day at The Crimble in Rochdale.
David and Nikki met me at the hall in snowy conditions and after a brief chat and a congratulations to them both on the news of Nikki’s pregnancy we got into some photography. We made use of only a small amount of the land occupied by Towneley Hall, the hall itself, the pond with fountain and a few of the tree lined walkways. This was plenty enough to produce some fab shots of them together – and a couple of snowball fights too!
Enjoy the photos………………..