Blackburn with Darwen
Darwen: Culture and Entertainment
Darwen has a lot to offer in terms of culture and entertainment. This is due to its large number of shops, pubs restaurants and other amenities which are located within walking distance from each other. The town centre covers about four square miles, and has about 20 bars. Darwen is famous for its designer outlet district which attracts tourists from all over the world because of its various bargains that can be found there. This shopping area developed as a result of Blackburn’s lack of interest in retail development. The town centre also includes:
- Darwen Library Theatre – this theatre is situated on Church Street near St John’s Church and represents one of Sir George Gilbert Scott’s lesser known designs. It opened its doors in 1881 and replaced another smaller structure built about 50 years earlier which had previously been used to house poor people displaced during the Cotton Famine.
- the Royal Oak Inn – this is said to have been rebuilt in about 1690 and has a reputation as one of the most haunted buildings in North West England, with reports of spectral sightings over many years. One story tells that during the time when Blackburn was still known as ‘Blackburne’, it became home to a group of nuns who were granted permission by King James I to build their priory on land donated for them at what is now Market Square; they lived there until about 1724, after which time they moved elsewhere and parts had fallen into ruin before being demolished.
- Darwen Market Hall (situated at Healey Lane)
- St John’s Church – this church was built in 1869 by Sir George Gilbert Scott to replace an earlier structure with walls dating back to 1515; it was constructed entirely out of stone quarried locally near Clitheroe Castle and cost £22,000 pounds or about £11.0 million in today’s money
- The Norcross Building – this building was constructed for the family firm of John and Thomas Norcross, who were cotton merchants operating from Blackburn during the 19th century; it has been converted into an office which is used by Platts, a company that buys green coffee beans to supply UK supermarket chains such as Tesco with their own brand of ground coffees
Parks in Darwen
Darwen has about fifty parks which span a variety of amenities from leafy green areas with benches to play areas for children, as well as tennis courts, football pitches and skateparks; the larger park is Crumpsall Park that was established on land purchased by Lancashire County Council in 1908.
The town of Darwen has its own list of attractions such as parks which include:
- Great Harwood Park
- Eastbrook Hall Gardens
- Abbey Woodlands, and
- Memorial Garden
The town is also home to a number of parks which offer visitors with an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, including Horden Hall Park, Gateacre Park and Darwen Tower Gardens. Darwen is home to a large park which has many walking trails and picnic areas as well as two ponds for fishing or catching fish. Darwen has many parks as well which are popular for recreation and sport such as football.The Districts have a number of parks which are popular for recreation, including various sports like football.There are also several places where the public can go to walk or jog, the most popular being called Great Harwood. Low Hill Park has facilities for cricket and football as well as many other sports. Another park is called King George IV Memorial Playing Field which is smaller than Low Hill.A lot of Blackburn people watch football at Ewood Park home to Rovers Football Club . It is also one of the oldest stadiums in England still hosting professional games with its first game played on September 28th 1875 against Bolton Wanderers F.C.. There are many other attractions for visitors.
In 1869 Francis Crossley constructed an imposing building on a hillside south of the town centre that was named after him as St Mary’s Church (Crossley Street) . This landmark can be seen for a number of miles around. The town is also well-known for its pubs, and visitors should note that the Darwen Tavern (on Market Street) was at one point owned by Sir Francis Dashwood who founded the infamous Hellfire Club which met in West Wycombe Park to conduct their blasphemous rituals . The Black Horse Inn on Church Road has a large plaque above its door inscribed with: “This pub stands on land given by Mrs Anne Fitton 1780”. In 1869 Francis Crossley constructed an imposing building on a hillside south of the town centre that was named after him as St Mary’s Church (Crossley Street). This landmark can be seen for a number of miles around.