Local Museums reopening plans

Some of Calderdale’s Museums are opening again to visitors.

To visit you must book your time slot online in advance.

Please have your ticket ready to show staff either on your phone or as a printed copy.

Sanitiser will be provided at various points and we will be frequently cleaning the venue in line with government guidance. You must wear a face covering whilst inside inline with Government guidance on face coverings.

Bankfield Museum plans to reopen its doors to visitors from May the 31st.

Admission is free, but you must book your visit online. There will be limited numbers of visitors to ensure everyone’s safety. Please have your ticket ready to show staff either on your phone or as a printed copy.

Shibden Hall reopening Monday 17th of May.

Numbers are being limited to ensure that we can keep visitors safe. We are anticipating that there will be high demand and that these limited tickets will go quickly. Tickets are for your use only and are not available for resale. During this current time all tickets will be non-refundable unless the situation changes.

Book tickets online

Ticket Prices:

  • Adult £8.00
  • Concession £5.00 (Children 5 – 16 years / Senior Citizens / Passport to Leisure)
  • Family ticket (2 adults and 2 children): £21.00

Happy 230th Birthday Anne Lister! April 3rd

This year marks the 230th anniversary of the birthday of Anne Lister of Shibden Hall. We’d like to join together and wish her a happy birthday and remember all the wonderful things her life meant not just for little old Halifax but far and beyond Calderdale.

The lady herself

Anne Lister was a remarkable, pioneering woman, ahead of her time. She had the courage to live an unapologetic life according to her choices, away from society’s expectations.

Her persona has received recognition due to the HBO acclaimed series Gentleman Jack based on her character and life.

Journalist

Anne Lister was a prolific journalist. She had been keeping detailed diaries since very early in her life, a lot of it written in code. Those diaries provide valuable insight of life during her time in Halifax and places she visited, highlighting some of the issues around travelling, especially for women not escorted by male companions.

Lesbian

Most of her coded entries express her thoughts about her lesbianism, which she wholly accepts, even though she kept discreet. To this day, her journals are the source of much of the modern UK Gender Studies and Women’s History.

Anne Lister has the first confirmed same sex marriage. She had wed her wife, Ann Walker and had taken the sacrament with her in Yorkminster. An honourary blue plaque commemorating this is erected in her name in the Holy Trinity Church in York.

Financial enterpreneur

At a time when women had a secondary role in society, before they even had a vote, Anne Lister managed her own estate of Shibden Hall. She maintained the grounds and the buildings and financed them by running her own business.

Anne Lister held investments in the then singularly man-controlled markets of mining, canals and rail roads. A lot of her income came from rent from tenants of the Shibden estate and properties she held in Halifax.

Traveller / blogger

Anne Lister was also well known for her travels, far and wide in Europe and beyond. Her expeditions ranged from cosmopolitan cities of Europe to the challenging mountain ranges of the Pyrinees. She wrote extensive accounts of her travels, making her one of the earliest bloggers, long before the web or Youtube.

Some of her entries speak of profound loneliness and it may be believed that she felt alone and unappreciated.  Perhaps she was disliked for her lifestyle choices or perhaps she was frowned upon as one of her lovers ended up becoming committed to a mental asylum, citing Anne Lister as the reason.

We must still acknowledge that she was a woman of formidable intellect, courageous and brave, who set the benchmark.

Though she may not have intentionally chosen to challenge the world, by being true to herself, she has paved the way forward instigating improvements and changes that we now take for granted.

One of her journal’s entries reads “How sweet the thought that there is (still) another & better & happier world than this.”

I wonder what would she think of our world, knowing that she has helped shaped it. In this day and age, she probably wouldn’t turn as many heads or raise as many eyebrows but if she had a Facebook page and a Youtube channel with her thoughts and travels, I expect she’d have a lot of subscribers.

 

Sources:
― Quote: Anne Lister, The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister
Anne Lister The first modern Lesbian
Anne Lister and Shibden Hall – Historic England
Anne Lister Wikipedia entry

Calderdale Museums’ Enews February 2021

 

In memory of Captain Sir Thomas Moore

We were deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing of Captain Tom who served with the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. The Regiment’s museum and archive are at Bankfield Museum and two portraits of Captain Tom have been donated to the Regiment’s collection and will be proudly displayed once we re-open.

 

 

LGBT+ History Month 2021

For LGBT+ History Month 2021 we’re proud to share the story of landowner, businesswoman, traveller, diarist and lesbian Anne Lister of Shibden Hall. Find out more on our website including a biography and a film introduction to her life as well as information on the Gentleman Jack TV series and extracts from her diaries.
Our introduction book to Anne Lister is available in our online shop.

Exhibitions online

Have you seen our online exhibitions yet? You can explore the history of photography and take a trip down memory lane with Photographic Memories, discover the history of Mackintosh Toffee and Quality Street or get up close to Shibden Hall’s portraits. Find all our online exhibitions here.


Explore Shibden online

You can still explore Shibden Hall whilst it remains closed with our online 3D tour of the site. Make your way around the Hall, Barn and exterior, all from your own home!
There is also a dedicated tour focussed on Anne Lister (1791-1840).

Museums Go Live!

Our virtual education sessions for schools cover a wide range of subjects and are available for booking. We have also created a range of family activities for you to try at home and post regular family activities on our Bankfield Facebook page.

Shibden 600

Shibden Hall is now 600 years old! To celebrate, throughout the year, we’ll be sharing stories through new online content, films and talks, creating new exhibitions at both Shibden and Bankfield, as well as gathering your memories of Shibden Hall. Follow us on social media to be the first to hear.

 

Smith Art Gallery exhibition online

Smith Art Gallery in Brighouse is currently home to our ‘A Town Through Time’ exhibition, which you can also see online here. Look out for when the galleries will re-open later this year: See Brighouse Library webpage for opening updates here.

Museum online shop

You can still support the Museums Service whilst we are closed by purchasing through our online shop, with a range of gifts, cards, books and merchandise.

Happy Birthday to the Victoria Theatre!

The Victoria Theatre in Halifax has turned 120 years old! Not quite as old as Bankfield (opened in 1887) or Shibden’s 600 years, but a remarkable period sharing joy and laughter for over a century and we look forward to them re-opening.

 

Follow us on Social Media:

     @ShibdenHall       @BankfieldMuseum

Copyright © 2021 Calderdale Council, All rights reserved.

Anne Lister (Gentleman Jack) of Shibden Hall

The wait is almost over! Gentleman Jack will be on BBC1 this Sunday 19 May, 9:00pm – the story of our very own Anne Lister from Shibden Hall.

Find out more about this extraordinary woman and the fantastic place in which she lived.

It’s 1832 in West Yorkshire, England — the cradle of the evolving Industrial Revolution — where landowner Anne Lister is determined to save her faded ancestral home, Shibden Hall, even if it means bucking society’s expectations. In addition to reopening the coal mines, a part of Lister’s plan to help her family is to marry well. But the charismatic, single-minded Lister — who dresses head-to-toe in black and charms her way into high society — has no intention of marrying a man.

Gentleman Jack” examines Lister’s relationships with her family, servants, tenants and industrial rivals, and would-be wife. The real-life Anne Lister’s story was recorded in her diaries, and the most intimate details of her life are revealed for the series.

Unveiling Blue Plaque in Tribute to Anne Lister

The fascinating life of Anne Lister will be honoured by a blue plaque at Shibden Hall, Halifax.

The plaque will be unveiled on a very special day – Wednesday 3 April 2019 – which is the diarist’s 229th birthday.

A blue plaque is a permanent sign installed in a public place to commemorate a link between the location and a famous person, event or former building on the site.
Anne Lister (1791 – 1840) lived at and eventually owned and managed Shibden Hall and Estate. She recorded her life in great detail from 1806 to 1840 in diaries consisting of over five million words, some of which are in secret code.

The story of this remarkable scholar, traveller, business woman, landowner and lesbian, along with the distinctive Shibden Hall and surrounding areas, will be showcased in the BBC and HBO drama, Gentleman Jack, which is coming soon.

Calderdale Council will jointly host a blue plaque unveiling and celebration event with Halifax Civic Trust, who organised the plaque and its wording. Everyone is welcome and attendees will include the Mayor of Calderdale, the Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire and biographers Helena Whitbread and Jill Liddington.

Helena Whitbread – historian, biographer and editor of Anne Lister’s diaries – began studying the journals over 30 years ago. She published the first volume in 1988 and the second volume in 1993. Jill Liddington, Honorary Research Fellow at Leeds University, wrote the books Female Fortune and Nature’s Domain, which inspired the Gentleman Jack series.

On Wednesday 3 April, 3:30pm the event will start with a free talk by Helena and Jill in Shibden Hall’s Aisled Barn. Places are limited so advance booking is essential through Eventbrite.
At 4.30pm the blue plaque unveiling will take place outside the front entrance to the Hall by the lawn. This is also free to attend. The Mayor of Calderdale, Cllr Marcus Thompson, will officially unveil the plaque.

Richard Macfarlane, Calderdale Council’s Museums Manager, said:
“Anne Lister left a remarkable legacy and played a key role in shaping the Shibden Hall and Estate that we know and love today. Having a blue plaque there is a fitting tribute. It’s especially poignant that the unveiling takes place on Anne’s birthday and in the run-up to the new Gentleman Jack series going on air. We look forward to welcoming people to this exciting event, and it’s also the perfect chance to visit the museum before it appears on our TV screens.”

Halifax Civic Trust’s blue plaques co-ordinator, David Hanson, said:
“The Trust was delighted to promote a blue plaque commemorating Anne Lister in her home town. As businesswoman, landowner, international traveller and famously as ‘the first modern lesbian’, Anne Lister was ahead of her time. With the rediscovery of her diaries and current interest, home and abroad, she is set to become perhaps Halifax’s best known personality.”

Shibden Hall will be open as normal on Wednesday 3 April, from 10am to 5pm, and the usual entry charges apply.

The Hall hosts regular Anne Lister based tours and for the third year, will hold private guided tours of Shibden Hall on Anne’s birthday. Always popular, this year’s birthday tours are now fully booked, but look out for more events at www.calderdale.gov.uk/museums

Shibden Hall Re-opens on the 2nd March 2019

Shibden Hall is the focus of a new BBC drama series written by Sally Wainwright, ‘Gentleman Jack’ exploring the life of Anne Lister (1791 – 1840) and those who lived in the Hall and Estate. The series, entitled ‘Gentleman Jack’ is currently being filmed and will be aired on BBC and HBO in 2019.

Set in the picturesque Shibden valley, a mile from Halifax, Shibden Hall dates back to 1420 and offers visitors a fascinating journey through the lives of the people who lived and worked here, including the noted diarist Anne Lister (1791 – 1840).

Shibden Hall’s architecture is a mix of styles reflecting its interesting and varied history. The adjacent 17th century aisled barn and workshops house a carriage collection and displays relating to different crafts, including a blacksmiths, coopers, wheelwrights and saddlers. Shibden even has a recreated brewhouse and inn.

The Hall is surrounded by the beautifully restored gardens and estate that forms Shibden Park. There are a range of features and attractions, including a cafe and visitor facilities, miniature railway, boating lake, pitch & putt course as well as trails, play area, orienteering course and woodland in which to roam. The surrounding park is open as usual during 2018.

Follow @ShibdenHall on Facebook and Twitter.

Find out more about both Shibden Hall and Estate, and Anne Lister on our Anne Lister page.

Cinderella Magic Wand Workshop at Shibden Hall

On Saturday 15 December meet Cinderella and her Fairy Godmother at Shibden Hall in this magical costumed workshop.

Help Cinderella with her chores and discover old toys. Create your magic wand and cast a spell to send Cinderella to the ball.

Adults £3.50, Children £7. Includes admission to the hall. Time slots available:

  • 11:15am-1:00pm
  • 1:30pm-3:15pm

Booking is essential. You can book online at the Calderdale museums website.

For more information email  shibden.hall@calderdale.gov.uk or call 01422 352246