©Copyright 2007-15   Holker House, Darwen. Lancashire BB3 2RG

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 The restored  front  portico  reflects the  original style of the  Victorian architect  and provides a grand  entrance to the  original mosaic hall &  stairway.


 Rollover to glimpse inside…

The Story so far…


Medical Officer of Health Dr George Hindle had Holker House built in 1871 to the design of George Wightman of Darwen. He named it after Holker House, the family home of the Hindles in Hoddlesden which was built in 1591.


The  place name Holker is made up of two Old Scandinavian elements: firstly hol meaning hollow or valley and secondly kjar meaning marsh. Together the place-name as a whole means”marsh in the valley”. This is appropriate to the location of the building as the site is on the hill which was on the bank of the river prior to the water course being diverted when the town hall was constructed.


Later it was owned by Doctor James T Ballantyne. Dr Ballantyne, a Mayor of Darwen between 1898 – 1899, and leading light in the Darwen Medical Society, appears to have been an interesting character as this extract from the BMJ reveals:


He also left his legacy in the town when, to celebrate his Mayoral term, he presented the town with an illuminated clock, which remains affixed to the face of the tower above the main entrance to the town Market.



Subsequently it became the Divisional Education Office for Darwen Division until 1974, when it became the Area Education Architects' Office. From 1985 until 2005 it was used by Blackburn College. Unfortunately, it was abandoned by the College and allowed to fall into disrepair until acquired in late 2007 by the current owner.  


The building is now used as office space and there are plans to offer services to community groups through the

If you have pictures or memories of your time at Holker House, please share them with us. We would love to share them here so that they may be preserved and enjoyed by future generations.

Darwen Community Business Hub