Lady O’Hagan, who was the last person to live at Towneley Hall, had a close friendship with John Garstang. John was born in Blackburn and came from an academic family. After studying mathematics he became one of the pre-eminent Egyptian archaeologists of the early 20th century. Lady O’Hagan helped sponsor John’s excavations in Egypt. In return he sent items back to her and to Towneley Hall, including this object. This grave pot pre-dates the rule of the Pharaohs in Ancient Egypt, making it over 5,000 Read more>>
George Eastwood (1839 – 1906) was a Victorian globetrotter, amassing a wonderful collection of over 120 ivories as he travelled the world. Made in Europe, Asia and Africa, these objects range in date from the 17th – 19th Centuries, and are mostly carved in elephant ivory. This example depicts an allegorical figure, inspired by Greek mythology. Eastwood was one of Towneley’s early benefactors. He was born in Burnley about 1840. Before he moved to Manchester, his early life was spent working in a cotton mill. In Manchester Read more>>
Edward Stocks Massey (c.1850 – 1909) was a local brewer who bequeathed over £100,000 to the town for the advancement of music, arts and education. When the last resident, Lady O’Hagan, left Towneley Hall there was little left to show the public, so the museum purchased the first historic piece of furniture using the bequest in 1924. During the 1920s and 1930s other pieces were added and now Towneley Hall has one of the finest collections of 17th Century Lancashire and Yorkshire oak furniture in the Read more>>
Pilkington’s Tile & Pottery Co. was a manufacturer of ceramics based in Clifton, Greater Manchester; it was established in 1892 by the brothers Joseph and William Burton. They supervised the development of a wide range of new and unusual types of glaze, and began painting wares in the coloured lustres for which the company is famous. They employed many famous and talented designers of the time, including Charles Voysey, Walter Crane, Lewis F. Day, Gordon Forsyth and Richard Joyce – who made the pot pictured here. Towneley Read more>>
William T Taylor was an electrical engineer who, in his travels around the world, sent items back to Towneley Hall museum. These included embroideries, some of which had been commissioned for Towneley. Other items he sent to Towneley include a Colt pistol, Mexican saddle, a Peruvian mummy and a Bear Skin (which was later stuffed).
The expanding networks of communication systems, including canals and railways, enabled Victorian artists to travel with greater ease to the rapidly changing landscapes of the industrial North. Descriptive paintings, like this early view of Burnley, captured the new reality of modern Britain and the impact commercial growth had upon the area. At the time of painting this factory was owned by the Dugdale family, who went on to develop the mill village of Lowerhouse. Later, the factory was occupied by the Drew family from the 1860s Read more>>
General Scarlett led the Charge of the Heavy Brigade during the Battle of Balaclava this “foolhardy attack” uphill and defying military doctrine was a success but it is largely overlooked due the notoriety of the Charge of the Light Brigade.
The medieval Whalley Abbey Vestments were given to the Towneley Family at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries so they would be kept safe. Dating from the Middle Ages they are sewn in a style of ecclesiastical embroidery, Opus Anglicanum.
This human shaped burial object of just five or six inches tall accompanied a Chachapoyan mummy on its journey to the afterlife. Very few mummies and their associated objects are found outside Peru