The names of most rooms at Towneley reflect the museum contents on display. A few rooms retain the names given them by the Towneley family before 1902 whilst other names were developed by the custom and practice of the curators and attendants since 1902. The exhibition catalogues and guide-books show how these names have changed over time.
(numbers in brackets correspond to the room numbers in the 1902 heating plan)
When Burnley Corporation took over in 1902, a plan was made to add central heating. This heating plan provides details of all the rooms as they were before the Corporation began to make changes. An inventory of room contents in 1871 gives the room names used by the Towneley family. Some of these names can still be seen on the servants' bells used to call servants to those rooms.