Welcome to Darwen Heritage Centre!

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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.


The Trustees of DHC are sorry to say that due to a change in the Government guidelines for Blackburn with Darwen as a result of the increase in infections from the Indian variant we will be closed to visitors this week.  That is Wednesday 26th May, Friday 28th May and Saturday 29th May. We will monitor the situation and hope that we can reopen as soon as is possible.

Please watch this space for updates, thank you.

 In line with Government guidelines we cannot open to the public until the 17th May.  If the roadmap does not change we are  looking to open on Wednesday 19th May at 10 am.  The Centre will be arranged in a one way system.  Your safety will be paramount, but we are arranging new displays so that you will see more as you pass throughi

We are also looking forward to working with Blackburn College to bring some adult courses for you on Mondays and Tuesdays – watch out for the adverts. We have also been successful in a bid to purchase the necessary equipment to run family history courses and will start as soon as we are able.  There you are – good news always comes in threes.

Darwen Heritage Centre | Header Image

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.

Darwen Heritage Centre | Home Image 01
Darwen Heritage Centre | Home Image 02

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).

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