Barley is a village in the borough of Pendle, in Lancashire, England.
The village lies between Black Moss Reservoirs and Ogden Reservoirs and is inside of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The village is situated close to Pendle Hill and is a popular starting point for walkers of this hill. The circular Pendle Way long-distance trail passes through here.
After a cow farm was established around 1266, Barley earned its livelihood from agriculture. This continued up until the 18th century. During the 18th-century textiles began to be manufactured as an extra source of income. The brooks around Barley offered an effective source of waterpower which led to the building of several cotton factories. Two small cotton mills were built at Narrowgates and Barley Green. At its height, Barley Green Mill had 200 looms, until floods destroyed the building in 1880. The cotton twist mill at Narrowgates, which was built by William Hartley to spin cotton warp thread, and the adjacent weavers cottages survive and are now private houses.
In December, United Utilities engineers were “stunned” to unearth a 17th-century cottage, complete with a cat skeleton, during a construction project in the village, near Lower Black Moss reservoir. There has been some speculation that the well-preserved cottage could have belonged to one of the Pendle witches, although there is no evidence to suggest that it did. Simon Entwistle, an expert on the witches, said: “In terms of significance, it’s like discovering Tutankhamen’s tomb”. Frank Giecco, from NP Archaeology, who unearthed the building, said: “It’s like discovering your own little Pompeii. We rarely get the opportunity to work with something so well preserved.” Many artefacts from the building’s latter years, such as Victorian crockery, a tin bath and a bedstead, were discovered around the site.
From the Priest’s Hole to the attic Towneley Hall is fascinating with period rooms covering several centuries of life at the hall. See the cat fast asleep by the range in the Victorian kitchen, stroll along the long gallery past bedrooms dating back to the 16th century, imagine the glamorous parties held in the regency rooms or have a quiet moment in the Towneley chapel.
The hall was the family home of the Towneley’s for nearly five centuries, today their stories are brought to life by our company of re-enactors who uncover their dramas, triumphs and tragedies and characters such as Richard Towneley (1629 – 1707); Francis Towneley (1709 – 1746); Charles Towneley (1737 – 1805) and General James Yorke-Scarlett ( 1799- 1871).
Owned, managed and financed by Burnley Borough Council, the hall is popular all year round with residents and visitors who come from near and far to see what this iconic landmark has to offer. It is praised for its breath-taking surroundings, extensive range of events and extraordinary exhibitions including the recently hosted Chandelier of Lost Earrings, which was voted the nation’s favourite piece of art by National Lottery Awards.