One of our best-kept secrets?

Gawthorpe Hall is one of our favourite places. But did you know that it is home to the charity the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection, which showcases over 30,000 items based on fabrics collected by Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth, the last family member to live in the hall?

If you head into the cobbled area of the stables, there’s a red door on the right with “Gawthorpe Textiles Collection” on it- and this is where the magic happens.

Rachel could see that in a time of growing mechanisation, true craftspeople and individual creativity was being replaced with mass production. She saw the need to preserve skills and people’s ability to feel pride in their own creativity, as a means of supporting wellbeing and gaining life and employability skills. So she started her collection, with the eventual goal of launching her own art school. was lucky enough to be shown some of the samples by Michael Whitworth, Commercial Development Officer for the collection.

“The collection is extraordinary, spanning the late Middle Ages through to the 1970s. We have a small retail off in Gawthorpe Hall`s own shop, but the full offer is available from our own online shop. There’s everything from aprons and oven mittens to journals, t-shirts and makeup bags,” Michael explained.

You can browse the collection here

“We keep a close eye on interiors trends too. We have a wide range of pattern styles, but we noticed that our most popular items were brighter, with rust a big trend at the minute.”

This is noticeable in their Archive Collection with fellow Burnley Bondholder Panaz. You may remember we recently visited Panaz to learn about the innovative work they do with fabrics and it’s great to see two Burnley businesses join forces to promote the history and quality of our borough. By the time we’d flipped through the beautiful fabrics, we’d mentally planned what cushions we wanted in which fabrics!

But is the secret coming out?

Those of us who live locally already know about our fantastic heritage, including our two stately halls, but it appears that the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection is turning heads further afield.

They’ve recently been covered by The Sunday Times after partnering with For The Floor and More in Chorley to produce a range of floor materials printed with patterns from the historical collection. The partnership has been well received, particularly as the floor company champions carbon offset, with sustainability incredibly important for the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection.

Thank you so much to the collection for allowing us to indulge our love of history and fabrics and we’d certainly recommend people shop and support local by taking a look at their website. They are keen to explore further collaborations with local manufactures and are happy for people to get in touch if they want to find out more.

They also love to house school trips so children can find out more about the collection, which includes pieces from the famous William Morris. If you’re a school interested, you can get in touch with them here