In the heart of this town Holker House has become the home for the Darwen Heritage Centre. A building dedicated to the prolific history of this cotton mill town steeped in stories and stunning architecture. Darwen was home to a strong cotton industry and boasts a visit from Gandhi in September 1931 to address concerns with cotton trading. It was home for Samuel Crompton, inventor of the spinning mule, who lived in Bury Fold Lane, Darwen.
Welcome to Darwen Heritage Centre!
2020 Re-opening Safely
For the time being the Darwen Heritage Centre remains closed to all visitors, including groups who regularly accessed the building for meetings prior to Lockdown. The next stage in a planned re-opening strategy will focus on maintaining the safety of all our staff, volunteers and visitors. Over the next few weeks the Trustees will be visiting the Centre with a view to re-arranging the layout to enable social distancing to take place. There are some essential purchases to be made to facilitate the safety measures required e.g. hand sanitation. Once the strategy has been established we will then invite volunteers to return for training in implementing and maintaining safe working practices. We will only be inviting visitors back into the Centre once we are sure that we have the necessary measures in place to keep all those who enter the building safe. Information for visitors giving the date for opening and how visitors will be able to access the Centre will appear on the Centre’s website and Facebook pages initially.
The Centre is run by a group of dedicated volunteers providing displays, regular illustrated talks and various exhibitions on all aspects of the town’s history. We are committed to supporting the local community. Art groups, community groups, ‘friends of’ groups, schools and social groups are welcome to use the Heritage Centre by prior booking for a nominal fee.
Meeting Rooms are available for all community groups.
Corporate and Private bookings can be made.
Other famous Darreners include Sam Wadsworth who became a professional footballer winning 9 caps playing for England between 1922 and 1926; world renowned strong man Bill Hunt; professional golfer Dick Burton who held the Open Champion title for seven years; Margaret Chapman the illustrator and painter; Sigrid Augusta Green, female spy in World War 2 and lead singer of Blancmange, Neil Arthur.
The town is nestled in a valley overlooked by the Victoria Tower, or Darwen Tower as it is more commonly known. Families and visitors walk the moor to this famous landmark for the breathtaking views, whilst down in the town the Grade 2* listed India Mill Chimney rises magnificently 300 feet into the air in the style of an Italian campanile, (bell tower).