Colne Valley Museum has been named as one of the UK’s top historic places to visit.

It’s seventh in the top 10 hidden gem historic houses in the UK which includes places in London, Northern Ireland, Nottingham and Scotland. The number one attraction nationwide is Blairquhan Castle in Ayrshire.

The DH Lawrence Birthplace Museum at Eastwood in Nottingham is number 5 on the list.

Lists have also been compiled for the most visited historic houses in Europe, the most visited historic houses in the UK and the top 10 hidden gem historic houses in Europe.

Historic houses include castles, palaces, manors, birthplaces of notable people, converted specialty museums and historic buildings that have been converted into home museums for displays. Their Tripadvisor review pages were analysed focusing on the number of reviews and the percentage of 5-star reviews.

Colne Valley Museum is a living history museum with volunteers dressed as though the year is 1845 and give demonstrations on skills such as spinning, weaving, clog-making and bread-making. The museum hosts visits from schools, care homes and other groups such as scouts but will also go out to give talks and take a spinning wheel with them.

The Colne Valley has a rich textile history and many people who visit the museum have a great knowledge of local mills.

The museum has around 60 volunteers and Sue Starr, who runs the museum’s lifelong learning team, said: “The volunteers are the core of the building and we love it when people visit because we can learn so much from them.

“Many have worked in the industry and the information they give us is just as important as what we say to the public. We never stop learning and people sometimes bring in textile heritage artefacts they’ve had for years. It’s a fascinating place.”

Colne Valley Museum is a Grade II listed building just off Town End in the middle of Golcar housed in four cottages built in the 1840s by a family of independent cloth manufacturers called the Pearsons and their relatives still in Golcar today.

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The end cottage was used by Golcar Socialist Club from 1910 until it moved to bigger premises in the 1960s and it became the museum in 1970 when it acquitted the two neighbouring cottages – one donated by the Yeadon family. The top cottage and adjoining shop were bought in 2008.

In 2014 a project called Realising The Dream project began, funded mostly by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which led to the museum recreating a complete weaver’s cottage with a living kitchen, period bedroom and loom chamber where the Pearson family earned their living.

The museum opens every Saturday and Sunday and Bank Holidays from 12noon to 4pm. It’s just £3 to go in and children are free.

This weekend (July 1 and 2) it has a Make Do And Mend exhibition while next weekend will focus on clogging and on the same day a knitting and crochet exhibition starts which runs throughout the summer followed by a toy exhibition in late August and September.

The historic houses lists were drawn up by which gives information about international moving companies and the costs associated with moving overseas.

For more on Colne Valley Museum and to book school and group visits go to

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR ( specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.