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Picture Guide

This picture guide will help you find your way around the museum.

There are useful tips for activities you can do, a little bit of information on different models or objects you will see in the galleries. There is also information on the facilities available including: seating areas and toilets.

Download Guide (PDF)

This is The Whitaker Museum & Art Gallery.

The museum is at the top of a hill. There are places to park your car on the driveway on the top and extra accessible parking bays at the side of the main building. There is no charge to park or to come into the museum. The entrance is accessible for wheelchairs.

This is the entrance to the museum.

The doors open outwards automatically. There will be a friendly member of staff or a volunteer sat at our welcome desk to say hello. If you have come to visit our café there are stairs or a lift to take you up to the seating area.

From the main entrance you can go into the museum, visit the shop or visit the toilets.

When you go into the museum, the Natural History Gallery will be in front of you. When you go into the gallery it will seem a bit dark after coming from the corridor. Our collection of taxidermy exhibits are in this room. You will see Nellie our Elephant.

Our Tiger and Python exhibition is in this room.

Walk by the polar bear and you can go into the next room through our small corridor. There is a bright display cabinet in the corridor.

Through the corridor there is another Natural History Gallery with local wildlife and animals facing challenges due to problems such as climate change and habitat loss. There is a big question on the wall; ‘What does Nature mean to you’. When you go through the door you will be back in the corridor.

On the left is our Cabinet of Curiosities.

There is a slight step that can catch you by surprise if you are pushing a wheelchair or pushchair. The doorway can be a little tight too. This space is full of objects and strange things. It also quite dark, with music playing. A film plays every 15 minutes and may seem a bit loud. You exit the room the same way you came in.

Further along the corridor on the left-hand side is Gallery 1.

This is were we display artwork from different artists. We change the exhibitions 3 or 4 times each year so it may be different each time you visit.

Across the corridor is our Reflect and Respond room.

This is usually a quiet room with lots of comfortable chairs to sit on. In here you can have your say by answering our questions by writing postcards, voting or hanging a tag on our tree. There are also magazines and books to read. And great views out of the window!

At the end of this corridor is our front foyer.

This is our fire escape. The foyer is also a quiet space. You can sit in here and close the door if you need a bit of space. You will find pictures or museum objects in here to have a look at.

You can now go upstairs to explore our galleries. Our stairs have a lovely carpet. Or walk down the corridor and our lift is on your left-hand side.

Gallery Two

At the top of the stairs, you can turn left into Gallery Two, our other space for artists to display their work. Or turn right to our Valley Past Gallery. We have some very beautiful tapestries on the corridor at the top of the stairs.

Valley Past Gallery

If you go into our Valley Past Gallery you will find lots of cabinets displaying museum objects. There is also a large screen for you to explore more about our collections. You can walk through to Valley Now where you can watch a film about Rossendale. The film has music and poetry. The door from Valley Now leads back to the corridor and across to Gallery 2.


As you walk to Gallery Two there is a small area on your left displaying different exhibitions call Your Valley. Gallery Two is a large, light space and exhibitions change around every 3 or 4 months. It is all on one level and you can walk through and back out to the corridor at the top of the stairs. You can go back downstairs in the lift of via the stairs.

Bar & Kitchen

Other spaces you can visit in the museum include our Bar & Kitchen area. You may need to book a table but not always. You can get a drink, some cake or a full meal. Let our staff know if you have any special dietary requirements. There is an accessible lift platform and access from outside.

Artist in Residence

Our Artist in Residence Professor Jigget lives in the Coach House round the back of the Old Stables. You can walk around the side of the building to visit him. There is a cobbled driveway and a slight hill to access the Coach House.