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Burnley town guide

Burnley is situated in East Lancashire on the Western slopes of the Pennine Hills. Burnley takes its name from the fact that the River Brun provided essential water alongside damp fields, hence Brun-Lea.

Like so many of the nearby towns Burnley grew to prominence following the expansion of the cotton industry at the turn of the eighteenth century. The improvement in transport brought about by the coming of the canals and railways fuelled this expansion.

Evidence of the canal still dominates Burnley today The Straight Mile Embankment, an engineering miracle that soars high above the town carrying the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The importance of the canal is commemorated in the visitors centre at the Weavers Triangle well worth a visit to sample the realities of life in Victorian Burnley.

A short journey by hire car will take you to the environs of Pendle Hill, this is Witch Country, the home of the Pendle Witches infamous in local history. A little further afield are the Bronte Country, the Ribble Valley, the Trough of Bowland and the Yorkshire Dales.

The area has two major stately houses. Towneley Hall, rated one of the finest medieval manor houses in Lancashire. It is the town's art gallery and museum. The old stables have been converted into a cafe, while the brew house is an impressive craft museum. The extensive and colourful gardens now form part of a nature centre.

Gawthorpe Hall is situated in Padiham, another settlement along the River Calder, which has an ancient history almost, but not quite, swamped by the Industrial Revolution.

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