Guide Books

The latest guide book, still on sale in the museum shop, was published in 2004. It provides a balance between Towneley as museum and country house. It is now a little out of date with the room above the priest's hide, mentioned on page 10, now open to the public and the watercolour gallery on page 11 now divided to give two separate exhibition spaces. The Exhibition Room on page 20 now houses the natural history collection, while the old Natural History Centre on page 31 was closed in 2006.

The Museum Archive contains copies of old guide books. The first guide book published by Burnley Corporation was written by John Allen in 1909 and was mainly about the Towneley family. Between 1911 and 1937, new guide books were printed about every five years. There were a variety of covers and occasionally there were new photographs but there were only a few additions to the text. The last of the old style guide books was printed in 1955. It still contained the text written by John Allen in 1909 but now there was a coloured picture on the cover.

A guide book with completely new text and coloured illustrations was published in 1962 with further editions with minor changes up until 1975. A much more informative guide was published in 1984, covering the main rooms together with an overview of the collections, the architecture of Towneley Hall and a short history of the Towneley family.

Author: tk - August 2016