A pop-up adventure!
Towneley Hall inspires in many directions!
In the grounds...
work in progress: flagstones, grass and the entrance to a secret tunnel!
The Family Dining Room
complete with table, flowers and a portrait on the wall....
Frances' Towneley's adventure
this young lady went hunting for gold!

Mary Towneley's adventure

A recipe:

draw inspiration from Townenely Hall in Burnley, add a sense of place from Geraldine Pilgrim’s Not Forgotten exhibition, stir in some exciting wintry weather and season with the unfettered imaginations of local schoolchildren.

Blend well and simmer backwards for some 440 years to uncover the adventures of the large Towneley family from the late 1500s…

From November 2010 through to March 2011, I am working in Burnley, Accrington and surrounding areas to distil stories from the experiences of children living in the wonderful Towneley Hall in Burnley in the late 1500s. Trying to describe what is going on feeds in almost too many explanations- the Prince’s Foundation, Mid-Pennine Arts, the Kicking Leaves Festival….. so I’ll link them in for visitors to pursue for themselves

Most important are the stories that are unfolding: madcap capers on snowy paths with Elizabethan sledges, naughty children swinging on chandeliers, naughty children being punished by polishing those same chandeliers, climbing out of windows on ropes made out of their sheets. The ghostly knight who was killed while on guard duty and who still stands guarding the Hall, atching the world from that little window there…..

Some examples of work arising are attached and hopefully more will follow!

a storymaking residency for Mid-Pennine Arts as part of the Kicking Leaves Festival, supported by the Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts

a collective set of stories from Broadfield School


  1. Latest words: some new poems coming out of a visit to Towneley Hall from Cornholme Primary School. Thanks!

    Cool cold calm river
    rushing river everywhere
    silent still and calm

    Snowflakes here and there
    Snowflakes falling everywhere
    On the ground, in the sky
    Snowflakes from way up high

    On a cold frosty winter night
    Shining stars are so bright
    In the sky very light
    on a cold frosty night

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