Celebrating 600 years of Shibden Hall

Shibden in the snow

Calderdale Council is marking the 600th birthday of Shibden Hall with a special exhibition at Bankfield Museum in Halifax.

The first mention of Shibden Hall was in 1420. For 500 years it was a family residence before passing into public ownership and becoming a museum.

Over the last century, the hall and its picturesque park have been enjoyed by both local residents and visitors to the area. In recent years it has furthered its renown with significant national and international interest due to the filming of hit BBC TV series, Gentleman Jack.

To mark this important building’s 600th birthday, Bankfield Museum is hosting a special exhibition that will celebrate Shibden Hall and its many inhabitants. It features stunning images by renowned artists such as John Horner, as well as objects from throughout the hall’s history.

The exhibits will be woven into a narrative which stretches from 1420 to the present day. Highlights include a personal letter from Anne Lister, the most famous resident of Shibden Hall and the inspiration for Gentleman Jack. There is also the exclusive opportunity to view never-before-seen portraits of two key figures in the Anne Lister story.

The exhibition will also explore the importance of the hall through the perspective of its many supporters. Visitors from across the world have submitted photographs, poems, artwork and reflections, expressing their memories of Shibden Hall and the significance it has for them. A selection of these will be included in the exhibition.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Jenny Lynn, said:

“Shibden Hall is one of the most iconic buildings in the region and has a long and rich history. This new exhibition at Bankfield Museum will celebrate key events and notable residents throughout Shibden’s 600 years.

“Even the most dedicated Shibden Hall fans will discover fresh insight, with exclusive artwork on display and significant artefacts, including personal items of Anne Lister. There’s also plenty for the first-time or infrequent visitor, with the exhibition centred around a timeline from 1420 to the present day, showing how Shibden has been influenced by its residents and also the impacts of wider historical events.

“The many memories, photographs and other artefacts which have been submitted by local people, show how special the building is to so many and complement the many historical accounts that feature as part of Shibden 600.”

The exhibition opens on Saturday 8 January 2022 and will be on display throughout this year. Bankfield Museum and its exhibitions are free to visit, although donations to support future exhibitions are especially welcome. The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am until 4pm. Further information is available at


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