© South Ribble Borough Council 2019


History and collections

South Ribble Museum was originally the old grammar school founded by Sir Henry ffarington in 1524.

The school remained open until the end of the 19th Century. Upon the threat of closure, it was suggested that the school merge with Balshaws, and the endowment used to establish a prize fund there. This survives to this day as the Balshaws Foundation Fund and provides a living link with the original grant of 1524.

The building was used for church meetings after the school closed, and the teacher's house was rented out. In the 1960's the site was abandoned. The council bought the building from the church for £1 in 1977 and set about restoring it to its former glory.

Moves to establish a museum and an exhibition centre for use by local artists gathered pace once the council had restored the building to public use in 1978.

The museum's collection has grown almost exclusively through donations of items by local people, and we are always happy to discuss potential donations and to suggest other options if we are unable to accommodate them ourselves.

Exhibitions and talks are hosted by the museum throughout the year. See the events calendar to find one to suit you.

The collections cover the following historical topic areas:

  • 20th Century Industry
  • Archaeology and Landscape
  • Cultural, Civic and Social History
  • King Cotton
  • The ffaringtons of Worden