Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery

Having a purpose build museum and library had long been a desire of the Library and Museum Committee, but it was not until the early 1870’s that serious discussions begun.

This was probably due to the slow recovery of the town’s economy after the disastrous effects of the cotton famine, caused by the American Civil War.

A competition for the best design for the Museum and Free Library was won by London architects Messrs Woodzell and Colcutt with a design titled, Knowledge is Power. Opened in 1874 at a cost of £8000 the building was Blackburn’s first purpose built library and museum and the first to be opened amongst its industrial neighbours such as Liverpool, Preston and Birmingham.

Fully accessible.