A Gift to the Children of Rawtenstall – Local Free Man Richard Whitaker bought and donated Oak Hill House and its grounds for the Children of Rawtenstall as a place of recreation and learning.
On the edge of Rawtenstall perched just off Haslingden road is a house and a beautiful garden park. Many know this place as Whitaker Park. We asked locals what comes to mind when they think about ‘The Whitaker’?
What was the original purpose of the house?
What is it now?
From that first museum opening in 1902 by Richard Whitaker, the house has stayed as Richard had set out. Sadly, the house fell into disuse and in 2013 the Whitaker was brought back to life and transformed into the Rossendale Museum & Art Gallery. Under the leadership of the newly formed ‘Whitaker Group’, a journey began with the restoration and enhancement of this prized park.
The Whitaker Group are passionate that the aims of the museum remain true to its original 1902 declaration; to educate and enlighten the people of Rossendale, providing a focus for learning and cultural activity into the 21st Century.
For More information please follow the links below. Public Art Collection North West: A history and Guide By Edward Morris – p.g. 153, Mill Guide, The Whitaker Official Website. Notes on the Hardman Family,Fishink blog.