A CENTURIES-old Jacobean hall in Padiham is set to have its exterior restored after scaffolding has gone up.

Historic Gawthorpe Hall was given £500,000 in funding from Lancashire County Council for vital restoration work that was needed on the south and west side of the house, which has deteriorated over time.


The building has been closed to the public from May to undergo major work done by the council’s museum service who operate the hall on behalf of the National Trust.

A spokeswoman from the county council said: “The scaffolding has finished being put up so the bulk of the work is set to take place starting next week.

“Tests have been made on smaller areas of the building to make sure everything is working and ready for the restoration to begin.

“It’s quite a significant building and the work we are doing will preserve it for many years to come.”

Redesigned in the 1850s by Sir Charles Barry, who designed the houses of Parliament, the stately home holds the North West’s largest collection of portraits and collections of intricate lace, embroidery and needle work.

It is hoped that all the work will be completed in time for it to reopen to the public on March 23 next year.

Town councillor Bob Clark said the work was necessary to improve the historic building.

He said: “It is a very special building that is part of the National Trust.

“It really needs restoration and preserving. It was owned by Lord Shuttleworth and the Shuttleworth family for generations.

“It is strange seeing the pretty building covered in scaffolding, however it’s not an eyesore, far from it, it’s necessary building work that will improve the hall.

“I’m very pleased and excited to see how it will look once the work has been completed.”

Builders at the site said great progress was being made.

Local historian Roger Frost said: “I am very pleased to see the work being carried out. the hall is a little gem, people call it the local Downtown Abbey. I’m hoping to see it restored to the best of its kind.”

The council spokeswoman added: “The authority is looking forward to the completion of the work.”