This was an industrial town. A proper northern town, burning bright in the fires of the industrial revolution.

With more than 20 mills, weaving was the centre of Padiham’s bustling 19th century heyday and that legacy is all around. The fine buildings and facades, the contemporary textiles found at the art and craft fair and Gawthorpe Hall, all create a rich and unique historic environment where beauty and industry live hand in hand.

The industrial revolution required power, and Padiham supplied it. At one time up to a 100 coal mines fueled this most remarkable period of history. You can mine this rich seam of history at Padiham Archives at the Town Hall.


Flowing from our stunning Pennine landscape, the river Calder provides inspiration and passion for the town’s artists and craftspeople.

The Calder drove the looms of the mills and water transported goods on the Leeds and Liverpool canal. Today you can enjoy both at a more leisurely pace – stroll along the banks of the river or cruise along the canal.

Water turned the cogs of industry, not unlike the cogs of our famous water powered clock, which takes pride of place in the Town Hall.

Even Padiham’s humour is water-powered: in the 1840s Professor Unsinque boasted of his ability to walk on water! An easy feat for the extravagantly named duck!