Darwen Tower

I ascended Darwen’s Jubilee Tower this month. Built in 1898 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee, it also commemorated a more local achievement. Reverend William Arthur Duckworth, the absentee owner of the moors on which the tower now sits, had blocked ancient rights of way on the moor to enhance its gamekeeping potential. Locals and traders were greatly inconvenienced, and a court battle ensued, the verdict going against Duckworth in 1896. The tower is therefore a monument to a great Queen’s long reign as well as local people’s tenacity to defend their right to enjoy the countryside around their smoky mill town. Even today, though most of the old industry is gone, one can see that town nestled in its valley, and the Rossendale and Bowland fells beyond.

The gospel of Christ, the very basis of Christianity, also has a dual purpose, much like Darwen Tower. It declares a restoration of our ancient rights and privileges which Adam lost in Eden, and it commemorates the glorious and gracious reign and exploits of our eternal King. I climb Darwen Tower each year, but I attend chapel each week, for His reign is longer and His benefits far greater.

Jesus shall reign where’er the sun

Does its successive journeys run;

His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,

Till moons shall wax and wane no more.


To Him shall endless prayer be made,

And praises throng to crown His head;

His name like sweet perfume shall rise

With every morning sacrifice.


Blessings abound where’er He reigns:

The pris’ners leap to lose their chains,

The weary find eternal rest,

And all who suffer want are blest.


Let every creature rise and bring

The highest honors to our King,

Angels descend with songs again,

And earth repeat the loud amen.

-Isaac Watts