Shibden Hall, a mesmerising timber-framed mansion, stands proudly in the town of Halifax, West Yorkshire.
Its ancient stone walls and distinctive architecture narrate over 600 years of British history. Since its inception in the 15th century, Shibden Hall has seen the ebb and flow of eras, from the medieval period’s intricate politics to the regency era’s refined elegance.
The Pioneering Diarist
Undoubtedly, one of the hall’s most illustrious residents was Anne Lister. Often dubbed as the ‘first modern lesbian,’ Lister was a woman ahead of her time.
Her diaries, penned in a combination of standard and coded writing, offer an unfiltered gaze into 19th-century life.
At Shibden Hall, visitors can walk through rooms that once echoed with Lister’s thoughts, bringing her tales of passion and ambition to life.
For contemporary audiences, Shibden Hall’s fame is inextricably tied to the hit TV series ‘Gentleman Jack’.
Filmed on location, the series delves into the life and loves of Anne Lister. Fans of the show will instantly recognise the hallways, chambers, and gardens, making a visit to Shibden a surreal experience, as if stepping into a scene alongside the series’ characters.
Beyond the Mansion
But the allure of Shibden extends far beyond its oak-panelled rooms. Spanning 90 acres, the surrounding parkland invites visitors to immerse themselves in nature’s tranquillity.
Ancient woodlands, awash with bluebells in spring, create a perfect backdrop for leisurely walks. The serene boating lake reflects the sky’s ever-changing hues, providing both a romantic setting and a peaceful retreat.
For families with young explorers, Shibden Park promises endless amusement. The miniature railway, chugging along its scenic route, is a favourite among children and adults alike.
The meticulously designed play area ensures kids can unleash their energy while parents relax and soak in the picturesque surroundings. Seasonal events and workshops further ensure that every visit to Shibden offers something new and exciting for its guests.
Shibden Hall offers a memorable experience and is a wonderful ode to the indomitable spirit of Anne Lister, not to mention the many souls who called this place home.
Address – Lister’s Road, Halifax, HX3 6XG
Telephone – 01422 352 246
Website – https://museums.calderdale.gov.uk/visit/shibden-hall