Towneley boasts a collection of medieval vestments from Whalley Abbey, which formed part of the V&A’s Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery exhibition in 2016.
The exquisite set of vestments are made of luxurious Italian velvets and ornately brocaded with gold thread and coloured silk. Almost as bright now as when they were embroidered in the mid-15th century for the local abbot, the vestments show scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary and the infancy of Christ.
The full set set includes a chasuble, two dalmatics and a maniple, and was first recorded in the inventory of the Cistercian abbey in Whalley, before being rescued by Sir John Towneley, a member the Towneley family, a local Roman Catholic family, who kept and occasionally used the vestments over the following four centuries.
The vestments are a shining example of the fine craftsmanship that existed in medieval England.
Towneley Hall is now open to the public.
During our period of closure staff have been busy working on essential maintenance to the hall, ensuring its place in Burnley’s history for another 600 years. Currently this means the Great Hall is closed whilst we undertake surveys and repairs to the Grade I listed ceiling.
The art galleries are scheduled to open in July, following completion of repairs to ceilings above the Jacobean staircase. To reflect the temporary closure of theses spaces our day admission fee has been reduced to £2.75 per adult. Annual passes are still available for £5.50.
Thank you for your support.
Book your visit via our website to help us maintain social distancing. Hand sanitizer, one way system, social distancing, mask wearing and the NHS track and trace app will all be in use to keep visitors safe. Groups of up to six people or two households can book to visit together.