Some Lancashire museums will reopen soon

Friday, August 21, 2020

Lancashire residents and visitors to the county will soon be able to discover and enjoy Lancashire's heritage and history by visiting two museums set to reopen later this month.

Visitors are being welcomed back as part of a phased reopening of Lancashire County Council's museums, but will need to book an appointment first.

Museums have been closed since March when the coronavirus restrictions were introduced.

On Friday, 28 August, two museums will reopen. These are:

Clitheroe Castle Museum – an historic landmark standing high on Castle Hill in the shadow of the Castle Keep, in the heart of the Ribble Valley.

Lancaster Judges' Lodgings – an elegant Grade I listed building in the centre of Lancaster set against the backdrop of Lancaster Castle and Lancaster Priory.

On Wednesday, 2 September, Gawthorpe Hall, Padiham, in Burnley, will reopen. Gawthorpe Hall is a superb Jacobean historic house, nestled in the shadow of Pendle Hill.

Visitors will need to book a timed appointment before visiting one of the museums. The online system to book an appointment is now open at

For those who can't book online, appointments can be made by calling or emailing the museums directly.

When visiting a museum, all visitors will be required to wear a face covering unless they are exempt. Children under 11 will not be required to cover their faces.

People are asked not to visit if they are self-isolating, or showing any signs of Covid-19.

Visitors will be required to follow social distancing guidelines, and to keep a 2 metre distance from other visitors at all times. One-way systems may have been set up in the museums.

Bookings can only be made by people aged 16 and above. Group bookings can be made for up to six people who are from the same household or support bubble.

County Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: "I'm delighted that we are now able to announce the reopening of some of our wonderful museums.

"We are really looking forward to welcoming people back into our museums to enjoy them again, but we need to take a phased, step-by-step approach to this.

"That's why we are opening up three of our museums for now, and offering limited services.

"People will notice significant differences in how we are able to safely open them, for the time-being. A big difference is that people won't just be able to visit a museum but will need to book a timeslot. This is necessary so that we can enable social distancing and limit the number of people in a museum, in a way that is safe for customers and staff.

"People will need to respect social distancing rules, and to follow any one-way systems that have been set up.

"I would ask people to check the specific details regarding the museum that they want to visit before they make their booking, to make sure that the new arrangements will work for them.

"I'm grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding, and I'd ask everyone to keep an eye on our website and social media channels where we will announce further details of other museums reopening, when it is safe to do so."

Staff are currently working hard to being able to reopen Helmshore Textiles Museum and Queen Street Mill Museum, as soon as it is safe to do so.

Due to major refurbishment works taking place in the Shire Hall Complex, the guided tours at Lancaster Castle have been suspended until January 2021.

The usual admission charges will apply at the museums, and should be paid at the museum on day of visit. Contactless payments are preferred.

More details will be made available in the coming weeks as to which museums will reopen and when, plus what services will be available. For more information, go to

Specific information including opening days and hours, what facilities are available, and accessibility arrangements can be found at:

Clitheroe Castle Museum

Lancaster Judges' Lodgings Museum

Gawthorpe Hall, Padiham, Burnley

Find out the about how services are affected by the coronavirus at


Tagged as: Leisure and Culture

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