Review: Whitaker Museum and Art Gallery!

This is my review on the Whitaker. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit, I found it fun, exciting and thought provoking. I also got the opportunity to try some delicious food! 

Are you interested in museums and art exhibitions? The Whitaker may just be the place for you!

The Whitaker has many permanent museum and art exhibitions open free to the public.  On my very first visit the Natural Curiosities museum exhibition caught my eye. The Natural Curiosities exhibition consists of 2 rooms jam packed with lots of different taxidermy animals, which to me were very interesting because I was able to see how big these animals would be in person. I very much loved that the second room included ways to stop the animals showcased from being endangered or becoming extinct, for example, one sign told me "Golden eagles are only found in Scotland. Some are still illegally killed on private sporting estates. The answer? Protect rare species." This exhibition was immersive as it included the sounds of birds and waterfalls while I walked through. They were many more of these helpful signs in view and this makes me know that this exhibition/venue cares about conservation and protecting the animals around us. Another interesting exhibition I saw was the Cabinet of Curiosities. This room was fantastic to see as every corner had something amazing in it. These exhibitions are found on the ground floor. 

The first floor included the Past and Future of Rawtenstall exhibition which allowed me an insight into how people in Rawtenstall lived in the past and present, a human rights wall which showed me the importance of having my own rights in my own community, the Rawtenstall community exhibition which included displays about the impacts of COVID such as the rise in food parcel services and lastly, a culture display of the Muslim community which gave me a good insight into how Muslim people live their lives. 

I had the pleasure to experience two art exhibition openings, these were for Martin Grimes: Fault Lines and Paula Chambers: Working Girls. These were both excellent and I got to see two vastly different forms of art, contemporary and watercolour. I really enjoyed hearing the messages behind their art work from the artists themselves, and how their exhibitions will make the public think differently towards what they convey within the pieces of art. These will be showing until the 12th June 2022. 

Outside the Whitaker, you can easily access a bus as there is a bus stop near the entrance to the park which will help anyone that is travelling by bus, the park also offers free parking which is great for those traveling by car.

The facilities were amazing, their bar and kitchen sold delicious, fresh food which you got a large amount of but this food could be seen as quite expensive so bring some extra spending money if you decide to visit.  In my opinion, it was definitely worth the money as I could tell that time and effort was taken to ensure the food was well made. The toilets were cleaned well and their toilets were in 2 separate rooms side by side with signs that show they can be used by all genders which allowed for a more diverse array of people to use the toilets confidently, a disabled toilet is also available to use for those with physical and hidden disabilities. The unisex toilets both had a small box of free sanitary products which is very much appreciated by anyone who was in need of an emergency sanitary product. On site, there was excess to lifts, one of which is to access the upper floor and another to access the bar and kitchen. This is good because it allows people with mobility issues to access all areas.

The Whitaker has a gift shop on site, which I especially loved, as it was filled with sustainable products, such as recyclable pens made out of paper that were available for purchase. Near the entrance to the Whitaker museum and art exhibition, there is a replica of the building which has moveable doors that show miniatures of all the rooms you can view in person, this is a great addition as it gives a quick preview before you head in for the fantastical things that wait ahead!

I visited the Whitaker on 14/04/22.

The address: Haslingden Rd, Rawtenstall, Rossendale BB4 6RE

The Whitaker is open from: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10am-4pm, Thursday 10am-8pm, Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.


Holly Craig

Holly Craig Local Reviewer

I am 19 years old, I study animals but I am very much interested in the arts. My hobbies include reading and swimming.

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  • Judy McFall

    On 7 June 2022, 11:18 Judy McFall commented:

    Thanks for this review Holly, its sounds fascinating. I like the idea of an immersive experience with sounds as well as visuals, with some very thought provoking exhibitions also. I'd like to hear more about the Grimes exhibiton and what was on display, what kind of messages were they stating and can you describe the artwork?
    The venue sounds very accessible and inclusive which is great to hear!

  • Holly Craig

    On 9 June 2022, 07:56 Holly Craig Local Reviewer commented:

    The Martin Grimes exhibition was artwork using watercolour and graphite if I remember correctly. It includes pieces that were industrial scenery as well as rural and countryside scenery. I believe that he was protraying the differences between the 2 widely different sceneries and allowing us to understand the effects that they both had on our thoughts as some were colourful whilst others were dull in colour.

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