The Society was formed in 1965 to stimulate interest in Towneley Hall and Gardens.  The Hall is known locally as “The Jewel in Burnley’s Crown” and has become increasingly famous nationwide featuring in tv programmes such as “Antiques Master”,  “Antiques Roadshow”, “Flog It!” and “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is” .

The Society meets regularly at the Hall, usually on the second Monday of the Month from September to May, and members enjoy a programme of interesting lectures.. Throughout the year there are organised visits to places of historical interest such as Whalley Church,  Turton Tower, Shibden Hall, Cliffe Castle, Gorton Monastery & Leighton Hall. There is also an annual garden visit and members have enjoyed such interesting and diverse gardens as Lower Heugh Japanese Garden, Land Farm Garden, Mill Barn Garden  & Waddow Lodge Garden.

Fundraising is part of our work.  Additional money is raised through the Society’s collection box in the shop/ticket office and by holding our now very popular book stall sales on bank holiday and special events days. We support Towneley Hall’s programme of events and assist  at social functions. Our funds have been used to purchase many items for the Towneley Hall collections and for the Hall itself. In the 19 years to 31st March 2020, the Society provided a total of £177,780  in gifts to the Hall (including the Ascroft legacy of £45,000 in 2004)

If you would like to join us, annual membership is £20 - Life Membership is £175.

Committee Members 2020-2021

Tony Mitchell - President  :  Rita Walsh - Chairman  :  Sheila Williams - Hon. Secretary  :   Sandra Thompson - Membership Secretary : Peter Woodhead - Hon. Treasurer  :

Michael Hewitt  :  Jean Lister : Jill Turner : Paulene Woodhead - Webmaster






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Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting will be in the format adopted last year with written Officers’ Reports being circulated to the members with a copy of the Treasurer’s Report and Accounts. All Officers and Committee members have agreed to continue to serve a further term. Approval will be assumed subject to questions and comments returned by members.


Garden Visit

The Committee agreed that the visit to Newby Hall and Gardens re-scheduled from July 2020 to 2021 will sadly not go ahead.  

...but WATCH THIS SPACE - we might just manage a more local, drive-yourselves-there garden visit!


Meetings in the Lecture Theatre may be allowed later in the year, perhaps from September and  our Annual Quiz is a possibility.  WATCH THIS SPACE.







Registered Charity No. 515939


A very successful BOOK and BRIC-a-BRAC sale was held over the May Bank Holiday - over £800  was raised.  We are hoping that our next fundraiser will be on the Classic Car Sunday - book stalls and a Tombola.  Good quality prizes for the Tombola are welcome - please contact a member of the committee if you can contribute anything or if you can help on the day.

The Stables cafe is closed at the moment but the hall shop is open 11am to 4pm with refreshments available.  A mobile refreshments unit is sited on the Hall car park, the Rotunda on the Riverside car park is offering drinks and snacks and an ice cream van is parked adjacent to the play park. The Hospice are offering refreshments outside the shop on weekends.
The hall has now re-opened with access to most parts of the hall at a reduced admission charge (£2.75 or £5.50 for the year)  PLEASE NOTE - the Art Gallery is closed at the moment - hoping to open later in June but please, keep checking this page for updates.


The Hall’s new exhibition programme  for 2021 will include The Evelyn De Morgan Artist of Hope paintings - a major exhibition for Towneley Hall, Burnley and the North West. The exhibition will be at Towneley for nearly 12 months and a selection of souvenirs linked to the exhibition will be available in the hall shop.


Look out for a new 3D scan of the Art Galleries on the hall’s website.





Another exciting project will be video recordings of specialists talking about items in the collection - the Pilkington Royal Lancastrian Pottery, the Egyptian items, the Artwork.

Curator, Mike Townend,  has been creating on-line collections :-

Curator, Mike Townend,  has been creating on-line collections :-

"Wish you were here" "100 Stories" Fundraising More Details
De Morgan Exhibition

The much anticipated De Morgan Exhibition will soon be on show in the Stocks Massey & Sanderson Galleries , off the main Art Gallery, at Towneley Hall.
This exhibition will display 40 stunning paintings and drawings from the De Morgan collection. Completed in rich, jewel-like colours, they demonstrate the artist’s Pre-Raphaelite and Aesthetic Movement style.

Born during the Crimean War, at a time when life in Victorian Britain was both full of the spirit of progress but dogged by short-lived military conflicts, she also lived through the Boer Wars and the Great War.
The outbreak of the First World War, which brought daily reports from the frontline and the huge death toll, deeply affected De Morgan. Possessing a strong belief that art should have a moral purpose, De Morgan fashioned an artistic response to war using a deliberate synthesis of academic style, symbolism and allegory to convey pacifist meanings and values. Her artwork became cathartic, allowing her a platform to present her profound fears and her hope that better days would come. Today, these paintings resonate deeply with our own experience of living through this global crisis, and reflect one positive outcome – that we are all united by a sense of hope.

A link to the De Morgan Foundation website where you can read about Evelyn de Morgan
Evelyn De Morgan Burnley Civic Trust ART UK Towneley Hall page Art UK Link to Visit Lancashire Website Link to Towneley Website Towneley Hall Collections The Arts Society

See the Fund Raising page for more details  >