Visitors to the annual Heritage Open Day at Gawthorpe Hall will get a behind the scenes look at what life was like at the ‘Downton of the North’.
Entry will be free to the Grade I listed hall at Padiham, near Burnley, on Saturday 8 September from 12 noon to 5pm.
Redesigned in the 1850s by Sir Charles Barry, who designed the houses of Parliament and the ‘real’ Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle, the stately home holds the North West’s largest collection of portraits and collections of intricate lace, embroidery and needle work.
Visitors will be able to access parts of the Hall that are not usually open to the public, including following the spiral staircase to pass from the stately family rooms down to the basement Victorian kitchen, just as the servants would have done in bygone days. The library and the Victorian kitchen will also be open.
A ‘Meet the Housekeeper’ event will show what life was like, both upstairs and downstairs.
Here, the housekeeper will be on hand to offer fascinating insights into life at Gawthorpe Hall during this period – what the servants did, what the house guests ate, and how the cooks prepared it.
Stewards will also be available to answer questions about the hall and the Kay-Shuttleworth family.
As well as the special events, people will be able to enjoy all of the regular attractions, such as the Victorian room, the portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, fabulous seventeenth-century plasterwork and panelling, the Victorian tiles, luxurious textiles from the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection, and the stunning Long Gallery.
Outside, visitors will be able to wander the tranquil grounds, including the small ornamental garden overlooking the River Calder.
The Grade II listed All Saints with Saint John the Baptist Church at Habergham, near to Gawthorpe Hall, will also be open from 1pm to 4pm. The building of the church was partly paid for by the Kay-Shuttleworth family. Visitors will be able to access the church by walking through the grounds of Gawthorpe Hall and see the memorials to the family.
County Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “There will be something to suit people of all ages, with new things to see even if you are one of our regular visitors.
“The Heritage Open Day is a great opportunity to visit Gawthorpe Hall.”
For more information telephone 01282 771004 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Gawthorpe Hall is run by Lancashire County Council’s museum service on behalf of the National Trust.
Normal opening times are 12pm to 5pm Wednesdays to Sundays, with last entry to the Hall at 4.30pm. The museum is open on Bank Holidays.
Admission for all visitors is free for the Heritage Open Day only. Normal admission costs are £6 for adults and £4 for concessions. National Trust members and children go free.
To find out more about Gawthorpe Hall and other Lancashire County Council museums visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/museums