EAST Lancashire is steeped in rich and interesting history. Have you visited these historic buildings?
The current cathedral stands on a spot where Christian worship is believed to have taken place since 596. A church on the spot is mentioned in the Domesday Book while the current building began as the parish church of St Mary the Virgin which dates to 1826.
The home of the de Hoghton family since they came over from France with William the Conqueror, the current building dates mainly to the 16th century. In 1617 James I was a guest and so impressed with the loin of beef being served he took his sword and knighted it – hence the cut know as sirloin.
One of the most recognisable historic buildings in East Lancashire, Samlesbury Hall has its origins in the 14th century. Its distinctive Elizabethan facade was restored in the 19th century by the then owner, textile magnate Joseph Harrison.
A fortress on the site dates back to at least Norman times when French nobleman Roger de Poitou was appointed as the first Lord of the Honour of Clitheroe. The rocky mound at the centre of his lands was the ideal location for a castle. In 1920 it was bought for £9,500 to commemorate the Clitheroe men who lost their lives in the First World War.
Gawthorpe Hall, Padiham
Built in 1600 for the Shuttleworth family, the property is now in the hands of the National Trust. It houses the internationally-renowned Rachel Kay Shuttleworth textile collection . In the nineteenth century a frequent visitor to the hall was author Charlotte Bronte.
Queen Street Mill, Burnley
The only surviving 19th century steam-powered weaving mill, this living museum opened in 1895 and was run by a workers’ co-operative which raised the £20,00 needed to built the mill by selling shares at £5 each. The looms ran for the final time in 1982 before it re-opened as a museum.
Surely the most prominent of all East Lancashire buildings, Darwen Tower stands 1,200 feet up on the moors. It was built as Darwen’s tribute to Queen Victoria as she celebrated 60 years on the throne, its design chosen via a competition. It stands 86 feet tall and the hexagonal walls are two feet thick.
Towneley Hall, Burnley
The mansion in the heart of Burnley was home to the Towneley family for more than 500 years before being bought by Burnley Corporation in 1901. The grounds were opened to the public the following year. Now much of the property is a museum with displays ranging from natural history to Egyptology.
Jesuits expelled from France in the eighteenth century established as a school at the home of a former pupil Thomas Weld in Hurst Green. The current college opened in August 1794 and it remains one of the leading Catholic public schools in the country. Its record of achievement includes three former pupils being declared saints and seven having been awarded the Victoria Cross.
This Barrowford cotton spinning mill received national exposure when it was featured on the BBC’s Restoration programme in 2006. The mill was built in 1824 and is a Grade II listed building. It now houses a number of workshops and a gallery space for local artists.