War near the Haworth

The sound of gunfire?

The Haworth was known as Hollins Hill when it was built as a home. The house and also Hollins School take their names from Hollins Hall which stood about 1/4 mile away. This was the home of one branch of the Cunliffe family whose head was Christopher Cunliffe. He was one of 4 Captains of the Parliamentary forces in East Lancashire  in during the Civil War.


Ship Room
Similar ‘Ship’ room from Mitton Hall


The approach to Hollins Hall was known as ‘The Barricades’ but this did not prevent an attack & severe fire damage to the ‘Ship’ room by a visit of Prince Rupert’s cavalry on their way to Marston Moor (a Royalist defeat). The Cunliffe’s then switched their main seat to Wycoller Hall near Colne; gained by marriage. Look for Wycoller Avenue off Hollins Lane, for the site of Hollins Hall.


Friends First Public Appearance


The Craft Fair last Sunday presented the Friends with an opportunity to “go public”. Families proved extremely generous in providing prizes for a tombola stall which kept busy all afternoon. There was plenty of interest shown in the aims of the Friends and several visitors expressed an interest in joining. In fact one lady actually filled in her form AND paid her first year’s subscription after having her go at the tombola. A win-win situation.

The Friends will be in evidence on Sunday December 17th when Father Christmas visits the gallery. Marilyn was the driving force behind the tombola stall and has already started collecting prizes for December


Peter takes a shot in the Billiard Room

Photographer Peter Graham has been working on interior shots of the Haworth to capture the overall layout of the rooms, the stunning plaster-work and intricate details of the wood carvings.  His photographs will be cataloged for the Haworth archives, as there are currently very few images of specific architectural details of the house.  They will also be displayed on our website and on other media.  Peter’s work here forms part of his second year degree syllabus for Photographic Media at Blackburn College.


Our first curator

A portrait of our first curator Mr Abraham Naboth Imlah Whiston who was valet to Mr William Haworth and continued in employment at Hollins Hill until the death of Miss Anne Haworth .


Tea party at the gallery

We are indebted to Janet Duhan who is the great granddaughter of Abraham Whiston for this photograph  we believe to show the celebration of the opening of the Haworth Art Gallery in 1921.

No doubt there could be other similar photographs tucked away in the backs of drawers in Accrington homes and we hope that their owners will loan them to us to copy and include in future publications and biographies. Eventually  we look to producing a pictorial history  of the gallery.


Staff biographies progress

The biography of Joseph Taylor is now finished. It has been a fascinating journey unearthing all the life history of the chauffeur to William and Anne Haworth. The book contains many copy documents relating to Joseph’s occupations, his military service and his social life.

Nearing completion are the biographies of Billy Beech the coachman, and Abraham Whiston,  initially valet to William Haworth, and latterly the first curator of the gallery.

It has been a revelation to recognise the impact that Hollins Hill has had in the area. Descendants of the staff still live in the area and their input has been invaluable. We hope to make contact with the families of other members of the Hollins Hill household as our research progresses.


Bats about bats!

Did you know that lots of bats live in the grounds of the Haworth Art Gallery and Stables?…………..

What are bats? (Not the cricket kind) 

Ever seen a shape at tree-top level fly past at dusk?  It could be a bird going back to it’s nest…… Or it could be a bat.  Video: bats leaving cave

Flying mammals

Bats are the only mammals that can really fly and British bats hunt insects at both dawn and dusk. One bat can eat 3000 insects in a night’s hunting. Bats live in houses & trees as well as caves.

Bat detectors

With the help of a bat detector, (as seen in the picture above), you can identify if it’s a bat and often which of the 18 different species found in Britain. Bats hunt by sending out sound waves most people can’t hear. The detector makes the sounds into a range we can hear. Simple ones are around £50.

When to see bats

Bats hibernate in winter when fewer insects are flying. Some birds are also fewer in winter but they feed all year round.