A Living Heritage Trust

Heritage Education is a major national necessity if we are to make the best use of our environment.


'A heritage education centre is not a museum.'


A heritage centre is a place of life and a place where I hope activities will go on, where children and adults will come into this building and learn something from it and indeed contribute to it by getting to know more about their past, more about the possibilities of the present, and some kind of vision for the future.


A heritage education centre is not a place where we preserve a dead heritage; it is a place where we transmit a living heritage.

Over the last 40 years, we have kept to this vision, campaigning to save historic buildings from demolition and acquiring and restoring some of them, finding new uses for them, learning about traditional building craft skills, and providing training opportunities.

Pendle Heritage Centre remains our flagship project, promoting and fostering an awareness of historic buildings and how to care and use them.


With over 100,000 visitors per year and 25 full-time and part-time staff, the Heritage Centre is a major player in the community.

The History of Park Hill

The complex of four historic buildings (all Grade II listed) was originally a Lancashire farmhouse known as Park Hill.


The earliest surviving building dates back to the late 16th century.


There is, however, tantalising evidence of an earlier building and a record of John Bannister of Park Hill obtaining permission from the Papal Nuncio in 1451 to marry his cousin.


The Bannister Connections

The Bannister family acquired Park Hill and the adjacent land in the early 15th century and developed the farm until 1788 when it was sold to the Swinglehurst family.


The Bannister family connection continues today.


Michael Bannister, a descendent, is Vice Chairman of the Trust and his cousin, Sir Roger Bannister, has been a keen supporter of the Trust since the Centre opened.

The 18th Century Walled Garden at Park Hill

A Garden which, in 1977, received little attention has now been transformed to become one of the Heritage Centre’s major attractions.

The Cruck Frame Barn

The Cruck Frame Barn was not part of the original Pendle Heritage Centre site.


It stood in Burnley for many years and, when it was threatened with demolition in 1983, the Trust rescued it and rebuilt it at the rear of the Centre to provide an example of the early building technology.


It complements the other parts of Park Hill, which illustrate the history of building styles down the ages up to the present day.


The Future

The Centre currently receives no grants, yet costs £600,000 each year to run.


These costs are met by profits from our successful catering and retail operations and other trading income, such as admission fees and rents from other properties owned by the Trust and Friends of Pendle Heritage.

In recent years, the Trust has expanded the trading activities, particularly the catering operation, with all the profits going to the Trust. However, these facilities now need to be upgraded and improved.


A recent review of the management and use of the five buildings on the Heritage Centre site has prompted activities to generate additional revenue, in particular, the adaptation of the Cruck Frame Barn into a multi-purpose conference and hospitality facility.