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Towneley Hall from the front

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Towneley Hall is a Grade I listed building at the southern end of Towneley Park in Burnley, Lancashire, housing the borough’s art gallery and museum. Both the hall and the park are owned and managed by Burnley Borough Council.

The site was the home of the Towneley family, who from around 1200 owned extensive estates in the area, but the present building dates to the 15th century. The male line of the family died out in 1878, and in 1902 one of the female descendants, Lady O’Hagan, sold the house together with 62 acres (25 ha) of land to Burnley Corporation for £17,600.[1]

Art gallery

The art gallery contains more than 300 oil paintings, including Pre-RaphaeliteGroup of English artists formed in 1848 to counter what they saw as the corrupting influence of the late-Renaissance painter Raphael. works by Burne-Jones and John William WaterhouseEnglish artist known primarily for his depictions of women set in scenes from myth, legend or poetry. He is the best known of that group of artists who from the 1880s revived the literary themes favoured by the Pre-Raphaelites. , about half of which are on display around the house. It also houses an Egyptian Mummy, the Whalley Abbey Vestments, Lancashire-oak made furniture, and Pilkington’s Pottery.[2]


The hall was reputedly haunted by a boggart,[a]A boggart is a type of mischievous brownie.[3] which appeared once every seven years, just before the death of one of the residents. It was linked to Sir John Towneley, who in life had allegedly oppressed the poor of the district.[4]


a A boggart is a type of mischievous brownie.[3]