Gawthorpe Hall is a National Trust property in the Lancashire town of Padiham.
From the exterior, and knowing nothing about the building’s history, I expected it to be of Victorian origin, built to satisfy the whim of a local industrialist. I was surprised to discover that it was built in the early 17th century, round an existing Pele tower, and that the Shuttleworth family, who owned the property, have been around since at least the 12th century. The house boasts some magnificent oak panelling and ornate 16th century ceilings, not to mention fine portraits on loan from the National Gallery of some of the most significant players of the 17th century including Samuel Pepys. Despite this being a National Trust managed property the Shuttlewoth family, happy to take our money, have forbidden the taking of photographs inside the property. (You can check out the National Trust collection online, if you wish). So you won’t find any photos of the interior here.
At the moment there is a textile exhibition in the House and a room devoted to Charlotte Bronte, a local writer, who was a reluctant guest of John Kay-Shuttleworth.
While waiting for the House to open I took a stroll round the estate and up to a nearby woods.