Two themed packages are available to support Victorian learning:
What was life like for Victorian Children? Discover the contrast between life for the Gillow children upstairs and the many families who worked below stairs and throughout Leighton's estates.
The Victorians come to life through the funny stories and antique household items which the children are encouraged to touch and feel.
Houses and Homes (Guided)
The Gillow Reynolds have lived and worked at Leighton for over 180 years. At one time, their world famous furniture making business employed hundreds of men in Lancaster, while the farming estate was home and work to many local village people.
Find out more about how this family shaped Lancashire's history.
Countryside Classroom (Self Guided / Teacher Led)
The Countryside Classroom is teacher led and can be used for a wide range of educational activities. There are many worksheets and instructions that you can download from our site for you to use, before, during and after your visit. The Countryside Classroom covers a wide range of areas of the curriculum such as history, science, maths, literacy, geography, art and environmental studies.
Leighton Hall lies in the heart of the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty'. As you approach the house from the front you will notice, on a day of good weather, the Lakeland mountains in the background. The earliest records of a house and grounds at Leighton date from 1246, when a fortified manor was built here. The family history has involved; hiding Catholic priests during the period of religious turmoil following the Reformation, the Civil War, and the Jacobite Rising of 1715.
Following the failure of the Jacobite Rising, Leighton Hall was sacked and burned and the owner had the property confiscated. The rebirth of the property began with the wealthy George Towneley. He married the daughter of the owner and invested in the rebuilding of the house, replanting the woods and laying out the park (1763). The property was later (1822) bought by Richard Gillow, the grandson of Robert Gillow, who had founded the famous Gillow & co. furniture makers of Lancaster. The house was refaced in the gothic style (in other words-made to look like it was medieval) which was superimposed on the existing Georgian house. The property passed through marriage to the Reynolds family - and their descendants the Gillow Reynolds are the current owners.