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 2021, 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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Monday October 11th - 1.30pm

The Way Things Used to be


Harold Hoggarth looks back to the 1940s, 50s and 60s. How we used to fill our time. The games we played. The music we listened to.  The radio programmes we enjoyed and how things changed with the end of rationing and the advent of television.


Monday 8th November - 1.30pm



Local historian, Denise North, tells the story of how Burnley Miners Club became the world’s biggest outlet for Benedictine following the 11th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment’s return from Normandy where they had developed a taste for the ancient liquor.


Fun Quiz Afternoon


A date for your diary -  Our annual Fun Quiz Afternoon is scheduled for  Monday November 22nd - 2pm £6 including a Pub Platter and there will be the usual raffle!


Annual Christmas Party


Another date for your diary -  Our annual Christmas Party is on Monday December 13th at 1.30pm  MEMBERS ONLY £5 (please book)

Registered Charity No. 515939

Monday September 13th - Members joyfully returned to the hall for the first of our monthly lectures since Covid stopped play in March 2020.  

A thought provoking lecture by Towneley Hall’s Assistant Curator, Alison Cooper, on the inequality of female artists in the Art World.

(See also report in Previous Lectures section)

The Stables cafe is closed at the moment but the hall shop is open 12am to 4pm with refreshments available.  The new tenants of the Stables will be at the hall from Saturday 7th August with a mobile unit whilst work takes places on re-fitting the cafe.
Thanks must go the The Hospice who have kept us fed and watered during weekends over the last few months. They raised more than £14,000 - a remarkable effort!
The hall has now re-opened with access to all of the hall excepting the Great Hall which can be seen through viewing windows in the safety corridor.


The Hall’s new exhibition programme  for 2021 includes 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 are 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
Evelyn De Morgan Exhibition

The much anticipated Evelyn De Morgan Exhibition is now on show in the Stocks Massey & Sanderson Galleries , off the main Art Gallery.
This exhibition  displays 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.

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