Astley Hall is currently closed for some exciting renovation work. The park remains open.
Astley Hall is a museum and art gallery housed within a Grade I listed historic house. The Hall is set within the beautiful surroundings of Astley Park which include historic woodland, a lake, a fully renovated Victorian walled garden alongside clean and modern facilities. Built in 1578, Astley Hall spans many fascinating historical periods and offers countless opportunities for learning outside the classroom. We offer a variety of sessions, rooted in the local experience and linked to various aspects of the curriculum. We encourage pupils to develop skills such as historical enquiry, literacy and communication.
KS2 (2 hours)
Explore a ghastlier side to Astley Hall as we delve into the effect of the plague and the importance of barber-surgeons, physicians, housewives and apothecaries in 17th-century life. Pupils will make full use of the walled garden to hunt for the plants and herbs used in various household remedies. They will explore Lady Bridget’s ‘still room’ and make their own plague bags to take back to school.
KS1/2 (1.5 hours)
This session uses our 17th-century tapestries of ‘Jason and the Golden Fleece’ as a starting point for investigating upright loom weaving and natural dye methods. Throughout the session, pupils will discover the history of weaving and tapestries, look at differences between woven and non-woven materials and weave on a small handheld loom.
Depending on the time of year, pupils will also be able to look at plants used for dyeing within the walled garden.
KS1 (2 hours)
This session is a gentle introduction to how people lived in the past. Pupils start the day by building an interactive timeline of Astley Hall using portraits and props to get an understanding of the various families that lived at the hall. They will look at how buildings change over time through a tour of the building and sketching activities. They will gain insight into domestic life as they have a go at washing clothes without washing machines and match old objects to their modern equivalents in the kitchen.
KS1/2 (Half day session)
Firmly routed in local history, pupils learn about the people who lived at Astley Hall in 1851. The housemaids take the pupils on an immersive tour as they find out what life was like for a servant at Astley Hall. They will discover more about the various servants’ roles and assist them in their duties of making firelighters, folding napkins, washing and ironing.
Teachers will receive a pre-visit pack which includes the census returns for Astley in 1851 along with suggested activities and extra information for classroom activities.
We offer private tours for all primary o secondary schools and colleges who can make use of the building and its fantastic collections fora variety of different topics. Our collections are an excellent starting point for studying a wide variety of subjects from local history to art and design.
Our resource boxes are available for schools/groups to loan. They contain a mixture of real and replica artefacts, alongside teachers notes and suggested activities. We currently offer boxes on the subject of:
• Chorley’s War– A look at the 1st World War and the Chorley Pals
• Feast!– Created to help schools set up their own Medieval/Tudor feast in their classrooms
Please get in touch for further information about cost of hire and box contents.
We are happy to accommodate school visits to our temporary art exhibitions within Astley Hall and the Farmhouse Gallery. We usually arrange slots for an hour at a time and can provide clipboards and pencils for your visit. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements. You can keep up to date with our exhibitions at: www.chorley.gov.uk/pages/atoz/astley-hall.aspx