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Gawthorpe Hall, Lancashire

Gawthorpe Hall by Barbara Ballard Gawthorpe Hall, an Elizabethan house, was built for the Shuttleworth family between 1600-1605. They had owned the land for 200 years. After Richard Shuttleworth, occupier until 1669 when he died, none of the family lived at Gawthorpe.

Gawthorpe Hall by Barbara Ballard In 1816-18 descendants moved to the hall and neo-classical changes were instituted. Charles Barry restored parts of the hall in mid-Victorian times to reflect its Elizabethan heritage. He refurnished the interior, changed the exterior, and put in a formal garden. During the ensuing decades various family members lived at the hall.

Gawthorpe Hall by Peter Barr courtesy Geograph Rachel Kaye-Shuttleworth moved to the hall in 1953. She was an embroiderer and also collected embroidery. She founded Gawthorpe Craft House for the study of textile crafts. Her collection is housed on the two floors of the hall that once served as a series of bedrooms and dressing rooms.

Tour of the House

Entrance Hall: This originally was several small rooms but was changed in 1850 into one. There is a carved oak screen and panelling, one panel being Jacobean inlaid with dates and initials. Portraits hang on the walls.

Dining Room: This was once the great hall with a minstrels’ gallery. The chimney piece is carved stone with family armorials. Tiles date from 1880. The plasterwork ceiling of 1852 is done to mimic the 1605 original one. National Portrait Gallery pictures are on the walls. A Pugin design was used to create the curtains and pelmets. The oak dining table comes from Gillow’s. The trestle table dates from 1852.

Drawing Room: Jacobean decoration in this room is the most original in the house. Inlaid panelling in Italian Renaissance style is dated 1603-04. A high relief plaster frieze is decorated with grotesques. The 1605 plasterwork ceiling shows off vines and oak branches. The fireplace has a Pugin fire grate and andirons. The curtains copy a 1850s design. The 1850 octagonal centre table is by Pugin and Grace. The top is inlaid walnut and the trestle base is carved oak. Two green velvet settees date from the same period. Carved oak armchairs, a workbox and other pieces date from the same period. Dutch walnut and marquetry chairs and pedestal tables date from the early 1700s. A Venetian chandelier hangs from the ceiling.

Staircase: The current staircase is oak balustered and was installed in 1850-52. It took the place of two previous ones. Ancestral stone shields are in the staircase hall while the floor is of Minton tiles by Pugin. A longcase clock dates from 1775.

Long Gallery: This gallery still has its Jacobean plasterwork. It is furnished to reflect the mid 1800s. A stone fire surround dates from 1851. Flock wallpaper is by Pugin. Portraits from the National Portrait Gallery hang on the walls. Oak furniture dates from the 16-17th centuries.

Huntroyde Room: The name comes from the view of the Huntroyde estate from the room’s windows. This was, in Jacobean times, a bedchamber. A 1604 overmantle has the coast of arms of Lawrence Shuttleworth. Walls are a reprint of earlier wallpaper. Bed hangings and spread on the oak bed are of the tree of life design and took 10 years for Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth to complete.

There are riverside walks along the Calder river and a wooded park in the grounds.

Visitor Information

Gawthorpe Hall
Padiham, near Burnley, Lancashire
Tel. 01282 771 004
Open: hall, April-end Oct, daily Wed-Sun, noon-5pm; tea-room as hall; garden, year round, daily, 8am-7pm
National Trust property; run by Lancashire County Council; tea-room; shop; parking (tight access and turning)

Exterior of house photos © by Barbara Ballard; garden photo by Peter Barr courtesy Geograph Britain and Ireland

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