Historic Burnley church where famous military man buried to open its doors to the public

Historic St John's Church in Cliviger will open its doors to the public on Saturday as part of the Heritage Open Weekend project.
Historic St John's Church in Cliviger will open its doors to the public on Saturday as part of the Heritage Open Weekend project.

A church that has hosted visitors from across the globe seeking out their family history is to open its doors to the public this weekend.

A guided tour of St John the Divine Church in Cliviger will take place on Saturday at 11am led by Ramon Collinge as part of the Heritage Open Weekend event.

The historic 18th century church is a grade two listed building and at the very heart of the village.

And for many visitors one of the main attractions will be the chance to see the final resting place of General James Scarlett, a British army officer and hero of the Crimean War who led the Charge of the Heavy Brigade during the Battle of Balaclava on October 25th, 1854.

Although from London he made Burnley his home when he married local coal heiress Charlotte Hargreaves.

The graveyard is also the final resting place for the Thomas Dunham Whitaker, the man responsible for building St John's.

A landowner at The Holme, Whitaker can list many achievements to his credits and could even be described as one of the original 'green' campaigners as he was responsible for the planting of half a million trees in the village to improve the landscape.

Refreshments, including hot food, is available for visitors in Church House after the tour.

The guided tour coincides with the annual Scarlett's Stride where dozens of walkers will step out to raise cash for the church.

Walkers can chose from a 12 or eight mile route, starting and finishing at the church.

Registration takes place in Church House next to the church from 8-30am while the walk sets off at 10am.

The event is being held in aid of church funds to preserve a historical building which was consecrated in 1787.

Tea and coffee are available before and during the walk and a hot meal will be served in Church House at the end.

The cost for a family is £20 (two adults and up to three children) while the price per single adult is £7 and per child is £5.

All walkers will be issued with a walk book with detailed instructions of the route. Safety checks will be carried out before and during the event.