Historic Chorley farmhouse is new heritage centre

Resored: Astley Farmhouse and, below, Bev Murray
Resored: Astley Farmhouse and, below, Bev Murray
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Restoration work on an historic farmhouse in Chorley is now complete, giving it a new lease of life as the area’s first heritage hub.

The 400-year-old Astley Farmhouse, which forms part of the town’s Astley Hall complex owned by Chorley Council, has been completely restored so that it can be used by community groups as a research centre and exhibition space.

Bev Murray

Bev Murray

Chorley Council has invested £130,000 to refurbish the Grade II listed building, which will now be used to showcase and celebrate local heritage, culture and the community.

The refurbishment of Astley Farmhouse has been done in conjunction with the community groups who have taken up residence in the building.

The groups include the Chorley branch of the Lancashire Family History and Heraldry Society, which is working with the council to open a new research centre, the Lodge Artists’ Society and the Chorley Photographic Society, who will present a joint exhibition in the main ground floor exhibition space.

Upstairs is a special exhibition celebrating 75 years of ROF Chorley, which has been put together by the Chorley Remembers group, Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society, Chorley Heritage Centre Society and the Chorley branch of the Lancashire Family History and Heraldry Society. Coun Bev Murray said: “The farmhouse is an important old building within Astley Park, which we’ve refurbished and brought up to modern standards, without spoiling its character. We wanted to create a heritage hub for community groups to use and exhibit art works and hold workshops and the building is perfect for that.”

Astley Farmhouse dates back to the 17th century, or earlier and is one of the collection of buildings that formed the service area for Astley Hall. It’s older than the Coach House opposite, and is of considerably lower status as shown by the rough-hewn timbers found in the roof structure and now partly exposed in the first floor exhibition space.

Astley Farmhouse is open Monday, Wednesday and Fridays 10am – 4pm (all areas), every Saturday 12 noon – 4pm (for exhibitions), second and third Saturday of the month 12 noon – 4pm (family history centre).