Summary: over 300 items, the major part consists of 17th century regional oak furniture together with important groups from the William and Mary and Regency periods. Around 75% are on public display in the historic rooms.
A small part of the furniture collection was purchased with the house in 1902, the most important being the Barcroft Table, but it was not until the 1920s that more furniture was purchased for the collection to be furnished as a country house. The Long Gallery and Long Gallery Bedrooms and the Family Dining Room were all furnished with furniture mostly purchased from J. W. Needham (1915) Limited, Manchester in the period between 1924 and 1946.
Oak furniture including a mediaeval chest and a font were donated for the Chapel in the 1940s and the Towneley Altarpiece was purchased in 1968. From 1979 Regency furniture was purchased for the Regency Rooms. From the 1990s until 2010 further items of regional furniture, mainly chairs, were purchased to extend the collection rather than to furnish any particular room and much of this furniture is now not on display.
The peculiar object numbering for the furniture collection, begining with FUAN , arises from the accession registers started in 1956 and a previous inventory from 1938, which listed both antique furniture for the permanent collection and fixtures and fittings including such things as display cases and office furniture.
The 1938 inventory ( md7 ) included Persian rugs under antique furniture but these were only added to the accession register in 1973 as a separate collection of rugs. As of 2016, this small collection has not yet been added to the Modes database.