DiCamillo Companion

Shibden Hall

  • House & Family History: Shibden is famous today as the home of Anne Lister (1791-1840), whose family had been here since the early 17th century. Anne (known as "Gentleman Jack") kept a diary in code that wasn't deciphered until the 1930s; this diary documented, among other things, her lesbian love affairs, particularly that with Ann Walker (1803-54). Walker and Lister were married in Britain's first known lesbian wedding, their union sealed by taking the sacrament together on Easter Sunday in 1834 at Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate, York (the church, today in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust, has a commemorative plaque acknowledging the event). The Lister the family donated Shibden Hall to the City of Halifax in 1926. The estate opened as a public park; in 1934 the house became a museum.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: In 2007-08 the Grade II-listed gardens were restored in a £5 million project that was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Calderdale Council. The West Yorkshire Folk Museum is housed in an adjoining barn and farm buildings.

  • Architect: Samuel Gray

    Date: 1830
    Designed: Landscaping for Anne Lister

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    Architect: Joshua Major

    Date: 1850s
    Designed: Paisley Shawl Garden

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    Architect: John Harper

    Date: 1835-36
    Designed: Tower and offices for Anne Lister

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  • Country Life: Nov 22, 1984.

  • Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 1995
    Reference: pg. 461
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

  • House Listed: Grade II*

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • "Wuthering Heights" (1992). "The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister" (2010 - TV movie). "To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters" (2016 - TV movie, as the Devonshire Arms). "Peterloo" (2018). "Gentleman Jack" (2019-21 - TV series, as Shibden Hall).
  • Past Seat / Home of: William Otes, 15th century. Savile family, 16th century. Waterhouse family, 16th century. Anne Lister, until 1840. Ann Walker, 1840-54. Lister family, 1854-1926; the family was here since circa 1615.

    Current Ownership Type: Government

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Other

    Ownership Details: Owned and opeated by Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 01422-352-246

    Fax: 01422-348-440

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: https://museums.calderdale.gov.uk

    Historic Houses Member: No


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