The Whitaker (also known as Rossendale Museum and Art Gallery), based in Rawtenstall, is fast-establishing itself is a cultural hotspot and creative space. It opens the capacity to not only explore the stories of the past (with a brimming social history section) but also your own story – with a ‘Mind, Body and Spirit’ afternoon recently announced, to take place on the 10th July!
Rawtenstall and the Rossendale area has a history of unlocking mysteries and engaging with the spiritual side of things. The name ‘Rawtenstall’ could be translated from a combination of Middle English roten (‘to roar or bellow) and the old English ‘stall’ (pool in a river). This suggests connections to water and turbulence, with of course the Irwell running through the town. In turn, the ‘Mind, Body and spirit’ event at The Whitaker is set to teach us how to channel the busyness of the day away, and bring is back to the flow of the natural world.
Expect calming sessions, spiritual lessons and a great atmosphere inside a beautiful museum setting.
This is a town surprisingly well-connected to spirituality and nature, after all. It’s home to the country’s last Temperance Bar, Fitzpatrick’s – which has claimed to be the oldest brewer both of sarsaparilla and dandelion and burdock. It also serves up a variety of alternative and natural remedies – I’d recommend their blood tonic – which certainly isn’t as bad as it sounds!
And it’s not just the drinks which are flowing for a peace of mind – but the river too. There is something soothing about the Irwell, which has given its name to the Irwell sculpture trail also running through Rawtenstall and also the Shoe Trail, which skirts the edges of Whitaker Park.
The Whitaker has also shown its dedication to showing different perspectives of appreciating nature and the world; also in terms of one of its latest exhibitions of Barbara Cole’s artwork. The 10th June will be a chance to participate in an ‘Audience with Barbara Cole’ and discuss the work inspired by the layers and linkages in nature, with the artist herself.
For more information on any of the upcoming events and how you can get yourself involved in this cultural and creative space, you can visit the website: