Heritage Attractions

Heritage Attractions

There is a wide variety of heritage attractions to visit and experience in the West Pennine Moors; from Tudor Houses to a Steam Railway.

Smithills Hall and Country Park

Set in restored formal gardens and a 2,000 acre estate leading up onto the moors, Smithills Hall is a Grade 1-listed architectural gem that dates back to the 14th Century. Exhibiting wonderful examples of Medieval, Tudor and Victorian architecture and decoration, Smithills provides the chance to experience a journey from early gentry through to the arts and crafts revolution of the 19th Century. To complement the stunning collections of furniture and artefacts, there are changing exhibitions and displays throughout the year. For more information check the Bolton Museums website. 

Turton Tower

The Tower is a distinctive 15th century country house (Grade 1 Listed) set in attractive woodlands. The Tower features period rooms displaying a magnificent collection of decorative woodwork, paintings and furniture, including items loaned from the Victoria and Albert Museum. Delightful gardens surround the Tower with Victorian follies and tennis court, a traditional English country garden and an unusual castellated railway bridge. For more details on visiting times and activities, visit Blackburn Museums website.

Darwen Jubilee Tower

Darwen Jubilee Tower stands high above Darwen on the summit of Beacon Hill. It was built to commemorate Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and was completed in 1898.

Peel Tower

The Peel Tower on Holcombe Moor is more than just a local landmark, it commemorates Sir Robert Peel, Prime Minister of Britain between 1841 and 1846 and founder of the modern Police Force.

Rivington Tower

The Tower stands on the top of Rivington Pike and can be seen from many miles around. It was built for John Andrews in 1733, when he became sole owner of the Rivington estate in 1729.

Helmshore Mills Textile Museum

Nestling side by side in the Irwell Valley are two of Lancashire’s original textile mills, Higher Mill and Whitaker’s Mill. These mills host the Textile Museum, which tells the story of wool and cotton yarn production in the 18th and 19th century in Lancashire.  For further information on visiting and activities, check the Lancashire Museums website.

Sunnyhurst Wood Olde England Kiosk and Visitor Centre

Situated in the attractive 85-acre Sunnyhurst Woods is a Tudor-style building, built in 1912 to commerate the coronation of King George V. The keeper’s cottage also houses a small visitor centre and exhibition gallery.

Rivington Terraced Gardens

These historic gardens were designed and landscaped during the early 20th century, by TH Mawson, as the grounds for on the homes of Bolton-born soap tycoon, William Hesketh Lever (Lord Leverhulme).

East Lancashire Railway

A trip on the East Lancashire Railway is a step back in time.  It was opened in 1846 to link the Manchester and Bolton line with Radcliffe.  It was a popular passenger and freight route which served the Irwell Valley, from Bury to Rawtenstall and beyond.  Today, a steam railway service is run by the East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society every weekend throughout the year, with some weekday services during the summer.  For more information visit the East Lancashire Railway website.