Towneley Hall in Burnley is a very beautiful building. It is situated in lovely surroundings, has a nice garden next to it and it happens to be a museum.
When I visit a museum I try to write down my impression of it when I’m still there. I’m afraid I didn’t write anything this afternoon, I was in there for no more than 20 minutes. Unfortunately I am totally underwhelmed.
Yes, the building is gorgeous…but that’s where it all ends for me.
As soon as I walked in a terrible smell hit my nostrils. It smells damp in there, not very pleasant.
The reason I went was, of course, Egyptian artefacts. They post on their website they have an Egyptian mummy. In fact, they have more. There are shabtis, statuettes, a coffin and pottery. However, it pains me to see how these items have been displayed.
Can we really not get more than ‘worker shabti’ or ‘baboon with harp’ as a description? Most (if not all) of these items were given by John Garstang. Surely more information was provided at the time they received them?
The room the Egyptian artefacts are in is also extremely dark. The coffin lid, for example, is made of wood and elaborately decorated. It stands in a glass cabinet facing the door. Because the room is so dark you can really make hardly anything out except the glare of the light in the previous room, behind you. It is virtually impossible to enjoy the items on display in this way.
So I cannot offer more than this: it was disappointing. If you like the countryside, then by all means go. The trip there was fantastic and I saw some amazing views while driving up. As a museum this is a far cry from what I expected.