THE BARLOW INSTITUTE
Registered Charity No. 521333

Click here for the official website of the now named
"The Barlow Edgworth"

 

The Barlow Institute, Bolton Road, Edgworth

(Story by the late Mr Geoff Hughes)

Built by Sir Thomas Barlow and his brothers and sisters in 1909 as a memorial to their parents. It has a recreational/cricket field and bowling green and in its early days had an open-air swimming pool. There is a small park behind the Institute.

Constructed in hard red brick with stone dressings, fashionable at the time, the design contains many of the features frequently extracted from handbooks of ornament. From the leaded lights in the mullioned windows and the singular corner columns of the entrance, the tower with its ashlar quoins, string courses and castellated parapet to the buttresses of the hall itself, the building represents an attempt to capture the romantic attractiveness of buildings which had developed over many centuries.

The grounds themselves were created prior to the construction of the Institute building having commenced late 1897 in designing and laying out the gardens, forming a maze from clipped privet, forming the crown green bowling area, the tennis courts and an outdoor swimming pool.

The recreation ground itself was used for Cricket, Hockey, Rounders, Quoits, Croquet and from the earliest days the Lancashire game of Piggy.

Behind these features a large wooded parkland traversed by footpaths and leading down to a lake on which boats were rowed and which attracted families of swans and ducks which the village children fed enthusiastically.

The Barlow Institute, Edgworth - Circa 1998
 

The Barlow Institute, Bolton Road, Edgworth

The Institute itself was completed in 1909 and catered for a wide variety of pastimes; the large hall supported an operatic society, dancing (both Olde Time and Modern) film shows (Silent) Wedding Receptions, Birthday Parties etc. whilst part of the hall under the balcony and alongside was fitted with gymnastic equipment. In the basement were slipper baths as in those days few houses had a bathroom, you could hire a towel for one penny or bring your own.

 

Also in the basement was a well-equipped laundry, which was very well used by the womenfolk of the village. There were also facilities for cookery for the girls and woodwork for the boys both being very popular through the winter months.

Upstairs was the Billiard Room with two full-size tables, the Library where you could borrow books from, and next door to the Library the Committee Room where the organisation and funding of the Institute was decided.  The Reading Room downstairs always had a roaring fire and morning and evening newspapers were provided on a daily basis, here you could purchase a cup of tea or coffee along with light refreshments and a small selection of soft drinks and sweets for the children.

Being in the centre of the village the ‘Stute’ was easily accessible to all and the facilities far better than in many towns around.  This gift to the people of Edgworth by the Barlow Family being a lasting tribute to a very fine family.

The Barlow Institute, Edgworth - Circa 1998

Click here for the official website of "The Barlow Edgworth"

The Standard MIDI File now playing is entitled "Sonata in Bb Major" by Handel and is the copyright of Roland (UK) Ltd

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