Anne Lister period fashions in the new Fashion Gallery

1820s dress

Fabulous period costumes from the time of Anne Lister are on display as part of the new Fashion Gallery at Bankfield Museum.

The recently opened gallery takes up the entire top floor of the museum and showcases a range of fashions from ancient Egypt to the modern day. It includes a selection of iconic dresses including a very special, recently discovered 1820s dress – the time of Anne Lister.

This striped dress has large sleeves called ‘leg of mutton sleeves’ that were popular in the 1820s and 1830s. This style is the type seen worn on screen by Sophie Rundle as Ann Walker in the new BBC One and HBO drama ‘Gentleman Jack’.

This 1820s dress is made from sumptuous silk and includes an intricate braided pattern with velvet inserts.

There are further fashion accessories from the 1800s on display including shoes, waistcoats, fashion plates and fans that all would have been worn during Anne Lister’s time.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Susan Press, said:

“The Fashion Gallery at Bankfield Museum displays a vast array of stylish garments from different countries and eras.

“The popularity of the drama, Gentleman Jack, has renewed interest in the fashions from the time of Anne Lister. A ‘leg of mutton sleeve’ dress, which features as part of the exhibition, is an example of an expensive gown from this time. It is not known who wore the gown but from the expense of the material and design it would certainly have been someone wealthy with a keen eye for fashion.”

The dress can be seen as part of the Bankfield Museum Fashion Gallery, which is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am- 4pm.

To find out more about the exhibition, visit


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