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From 5 May 2015 Gawthorpe Hall will be closed completely to visitors for the rest of 2015. This is due to major building conservation work to the hall. We apologize for any inconvenience caused and expect the hall will be open fully for 2016.
Gawthorpe Hall is a superb Jacobean historic house, nestled in the shadow of Pendle Hill, east Lancashire. Built between 1600 and 1605 for the Shuttleworth family it had an iconic and important role in the local area.
On a visit you can see the original seventeenth century panelling and plasterwork in the Drawing Room; period Victorian rooms redesigned by sir Charles Barry (architect of Houses of Parliament) showing what life was like for the family in the 1890s and enjoy the splendour of the Long Gallery. The hall also has fabulous furniture, paintings and the Gawthorpe Textile Collection displays on the first floor.
Gawthorpe Hall is also part of Wonderful Things with special events, offers and creative entrance displays telling the story of the money made and money spent in Pennine Lancashire.
Gawthorpe Hall will be open from 1 April to 4 May 2015, and closed completely to visitors from 5 May for the rest of 2015.
Open bank holidays at Easter.
We suggest you allow at least 90 minutes for your visit.
Last entry to the hall 4.30pm.
Save money with our Xplorer multi-pass tickets
* A charge to enter grounds may apply on special event days.
The hall displays a number of extravagant period rooms. It retains many original Elizabethan and Jacobean features that were fused with contemporary Victorian styles during the restoration carried out by Sir Charles Barry between 1850 and 1852.
The dining room is an example of this, with the raised dais and minstrels gallery reminiscent of its days as a Great Hall paired with the Gothic revival designs of renowned Victorian architect and designer AW Pugin.
As well as a new fireplace and wall panelling being added, the fabulous plaster ceiling was restored during Barry’s refurbishments to the designs of the 1605 original.
The drawing room (which was previously used as the dining room) has altered little during its history, and still displays the Jacobean decoration of the early 1600s. The room includes a highly ornate plasterwork ceiling and frieze which is a credit to its Yorkshire creators, Francis and Thomas Gunby. The frieze includes the plaster figures of Sir Richard Shuttleworth and his wife Margaret.
The stone fireplace was refurbished by Barry in the 1850s with the addition of a fire grate designed by Pugin. The drawing room also contains furniture designed by Pugin for the family including a beautiful inlaid octagonal table and matching teapoy which contains the initials of Janet Kay-Shuttleworth.
The tiles on the floor of the entrance hall are the same as the ones used by Barry in the Houses of Parliament and the oak staircase was a beautiful new addition to the house in the 1850s.
At the top of the house are the Huntroyde bedroom and Long Gallery both of which had minor alterations made to them during the 1850s yet they still retained their original function and many of the original Jacobean features have been kept.
The mottoes of the Shuttleworth and Kay families, “Iusticia et Prudentia” (Justice and Practical Judgement – Shuttleworth) and “Kynd Kynn Knawne Kepe” (Keep your own kin-kind – Kay), were included as features in the design of the house, and can be seen throughout, including above the front door and around the top of the tower. The initials “KS” also appear frequently in the interior design as a result of the Victorian refurbishments of the hall.
The Shuttleworths were an influential family owning extensive lands in the North West. Several family members were awarded high offices; however one of the most noted Shuttleworths was Colonel Richard Shuttleworth (1587-1669). He was High Sheriff of Lancashire twice and a Member of Parliament for Preston and a commander in the Parliamentarian Army during the Civil Wars.
Following Colonel Richard’s death in the late 17th century it was 150 years before another Shuttleworth took up significant residence at Gawthorpe. In the meantime there were several occupants who looked after the estate, but little was done in the care of the house. Therefore, with the arrival at Gawthorpe of Sir James Kay Shuttleworth, Sir Charles Barry began the restoration and improvements to the house.
One of the most notable of Sir James’ acquaintances was the novelist Charlotte Brontë who was considered a family friend, and stayed as a guest at Gawthorpe in 1850 and again shortly before her death in 1855. She described the house as being, "grey, stately and picturesque". It was through Sir James that Charlotte Brontë would meet her good friend Elizabeth Gaskell when both were his guests at a house in the Lake District.
Ughtred Shuttleworth (1844-1939) followed a parliamentary career sitting as a liberal MP for Hastings and then Clitheroe until his elevation to the peerage in 1902. For the 20 years between 1908-28 he was Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire and entertained King George V and Queen Mary at Gawthorpe in 1913.
After Charles, the 4th Lord Shuttleworth (1917-75) moved to Leck Hall, Near Kirkby Lonsdale. In 1952 Gawthorpe was left in the care of his aunt Rachel (1886-1967) who had lived most of her life at Gawthorpe. Rachel was, like her grandfather, prodigiously active in social welfare work in Lancashire however this aspect of her life is overshadowed by her work as a collector and teacher of embroidery, textiles and costume.
Fabulous period furniture from the hall's heyday in the 1890s and earlier graces the rooms as well as beautiful wallpaper, textiles and china.
one of the biggest loans of paintings from the National Portrait Gallery in London to north west England is on display throughout the hall. The 29 paintings are from the 17th century and illustrate Gawthorpe's historical connections throughout that period, particularly with the English Civil War.
Gawthorpe Hall is also renowned for holding the finest collection of textiles outside of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection. Collected by Miss Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth, one of the last family members to live at the hall, she had a lifetime passion for collecting, studying, making and teaching textile techniques. The collection includes many items of needlework and lace made by Rachel herself, as well as examples of needlecrafts from all over the world.