Shibden Hall

Coordinates: 53°43′41.7″N 1°50′24″W / 53.728250°N 1.84000°W / 53.728250; -1.84000
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Shibden Hall
Shibden Hall, Halifax - - 1804046.jpg
Shibden Hall in 2010
Shibden Hall is located in West Yorkshire
Shibden Hall
Location within West Yorkshire
LocationLister’s Road, Halifax, West Yorkshire, England HX3 6XG
Coordinates53°43′41.7″N 1°50′24″W / 53.728250°N 1.84000°W / 53.728250; -1.84000
TypeHistoric house museum
WebsiteShibden Hall
Listed Building – Grade II*
Official nameShibden Hall
Designated3 November 1954
Reference no.1254036
Shibden Hall front view
Shibden Hall from the park walkways

Shibden Hall is a Grade II* listed historic house located in a public park at Shibden, West Yorkshire, England. The building has been extensively modified from its original design by generations of residents, although its Tudor half-timbered frontage remains its most recognisable feature.

One of its most notable residents was Anne Lister who inherited the hall from a relative. Lister has been described as being the "first modern lesbian" due to her "love... [of] the fairer sex" that she documented in her diaries.[1]


The hall dates back to around 1420, when it was recorded as being inhabited by one William Otes.[2] Before 1612, the estate was owned by the Savile and Waterhouse families. The three families' armorial symbols are recorded in a stone-mullioned 20-light window at the hall.[3] It was acquired on behalf of John Hemingway, who died young, in 1612 and was then inherited by Hemingway's uncle, Samuel Lister, in 1619.[4]

For more than 300 years (1619 to 1926) the Shibden estate was in the hands of the Lister family, wealthy mill-owners and cloth merchants, the most famous resident being Anne Lister (1791–1840), who became sole owner of the hall after the death of her aunt. She commissioned York architect John Harper and landscape gardener Samuel Gray in 1830 to make extensive improvements to the house and grounds. A gothic tower was added to the building for use as a library and the major features of the park created, including terraced gardens, rock gardens, cascades and a boating lake.[5] A "Paisley shawl" garden designed for the terrace by Joshua Major was added in the 1850s. After Anne Lister's death in 1840 in the Caucasus, the estate passed to her partner, Ann Walker, who died in 1854. Possession then returned to the Lister family, who donated it to Halifax Corporation in 1933.[6] In 1934 the Corporation opened it as a museum.[7] The estate became a public park in 1926 and the hall a museum in 1934.[4]

The property has been a Grade II* listed building since 3 November 1954.[6] The park and gardens were restored between 2007 and 2008 with almost £3.9 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £1.2 million from Calderdale Council.[8] The gardens were listed Grade II on 27 June 2000.[9]

The hall is currently open to the public, the "West Yorkshire Folk Museum" being housed in an adjoining barn and farm buildings. The hall has a variety of restored workshops, including a brewery, a basket-weaving shop, a tannery, a stable and an extensive collection of horse-drawn carriages. The park also contains a dry stone walling exhibition, children's play area and miniature steam railway.[10][11]

The hall has been used for filming the movie Peterloo, and the 2019 and 2022 BBC/HBO television series Gentleman Jack about its former owner Anne Lister.[12][13] As a result of the television series, watched by almost six million people each week, the hall saw a trebling of visitors, leading Calderdale Council to plan an extension of the opening times.[14]

The oak-panelled music room contains a square piano, dated 1769, by John Pohlman, one of his oldest. The piano has never been restored, although the oak stand is not original.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Woods, Rebecca (3 May 2019). "The Life and Loves of Anne Lister". BBC News. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Shibden Hall, Halifax". BBC History Magazine. BBC. 4 September 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  3. ^ "Shibden Hall: Introduction". Calderdale Council. Archived from the original on 11 August 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Lister Family of Shibden Hall". West Yorkshire Archive Service. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  5. ^ Shibden Park: Shibden's historic landscape Archived 28 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine at Calderdale Council
  6. ^ a b Historic England (27 June 2000). "Shibden Hall (Grade II*) (1254036)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  7. ^ "Shibden Hall, Halifax". Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  8. ^ Shibden Park: The restoration project Archived 25 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine at Calderdale Council
  9. ^ Historic England (27 June 2000). "Shibden Hall (Grade II) (1001470)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Shibden Miniature Railway | Britain's Great Little Railways". Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Shibden Park". Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  12. ^ Hirst, Ian (17 April 2018). "Shibden Hall to close for 17 weeks as filming begins for Sally Wainwright drama". The Halifax Courier. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Shibden Hall". Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  14. ^ "Anne Lister's house extends opening hours". BBC News. 21 July 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Johannes Pohlman piano maker". Retrieved 6 October 2019.


  • Hanson, T W (1934). A Short History of Shibden Hall. County Borough of Halifax/William Patterson Printers. 32pp.

External links[edit]