Towneley Hall, once the home of the important Towneley family, has been Burnley’s Art Gallery and Museum for more than 100 years.

Our sessions for schools have been developed in collaboration with local teachers and cover a wide range of topics drawing both on the hall itself and the surrounding parkland.

Our staff know that all classes differ in their needs and abilities and are happy to tailor a session to your particular class.

Through our partnership with Pennine Lancashire Museums and Schools we are delighted to be able to offer two brand new learning sessions developed with local teachers that tailor the needs of pupils with the wonderful collections we have on offer.

Learning Session at Towneley

The Tudors at Towneley Hall

KS2 / Half day / History/Art

The session explores the life of the Towneley family who lived in the hall before and after the Tudor times. Children get to see a priest hide, learn about the fate of John Towneley and dress up.

Life in Ancient Egypt

KS2 / Half day / Art/History

The children use objects from the collections to find out about the lives of everyday people from ancient Egypt and then they get to mummify one of their classmates.Egyptian Room

Pond Dipping and River Studies

KS2 / Half Day / Science/ Geography

Using the River Calder and the ponds around the hall, children learn about river systems and water habitats. The activity is for year 4 children and older and requires a six-week lead in period from the booking date.

Mini-Beast and Habitat Safaris

KS1/2/ Half day / Science/ Geography

Find out about the invertebrates and small animals living in the different habitats in the park including woodland. Collect mini-beasts using ‘beating trays’ and learn about the life cycles of the animals, their food chains and the importance of green plants and fungi.

Explore Towneley Hall

KS2 / Half day / History/Art

A new session focusing on the architecture and layout of the hall using the outside as well as inside of the building.

Writing Biographies

KS2 / Half day / History/Literacy/ Art

Children learn about three historic members of the Towneley family and use the information to write their biographies at school.

Looking At Art

KS2 / Half day / Art/History

Session specially developed for Pennine Lancashire Museums and Schools This session, developed with a local teacher and artist, encourages the children to study Towneley’s paintings and learn to creatively look at and decorate an art gallery.

Toys and Games

KS1 / Half day / History

The children find themselves looking at toys from the past such as a dolls house and money box before taking part in a role playing activity with the toys.

Houses and Homes

KS1 / Half day / History

The children explore the hall comparing and contrasting the old house and its contents with their own homes.

WW 2

KS2 / Half day / History

The children will discover the impact of WW2 on the people of Burnley. The children will have the opportunity to handle a selection of objects and meet Ben Marshall, who was a child of nine when the war started.


KS2 / Half day / History

We look at local stories from the war and act them out. The session concludes with writing and laying crosses at the Cenotaph in the park. This session is appropriate for November.