Celebrating Anne Lister’s legacy


People from Calderdale and beyond will be able to celebrate Anne Lister’s legacy by taking part in a series of events to mark the 180th anniversary of her death.

Tuesday 22 September 2020 marks 180 years since the death of Anne Lister of Shibden Hall, Halifax. The story of the scholar, traveller, lesbian, businesswoman and landowner was told to millions across the world in Sally Wainwright’s BBC and HBO series, Gentleman Jack.

Calderdale Council, Cultural Destinations (a project to increase cultural tourism in Calderdale) and a range of other partner organisations and communities have come together to organise the following events:

  • A memorial broadcast from Anne’s historic home, Shibden Hall, on Tuesday 22 September, which will be live streamed on social media at 3pm. Although people are sadly not able to gather for this event in person due to COVID-19 restrictions, they are invited to watch online to commemorate and give thanks for Anne’s life and legacy. The Mayor of Calderdale, Cllr Dot Foster, will lay a wreath outside Shibden Hall before leading a one-minute silence.
  • A fascinating behind-the-scenes peek into how Anne’s diaries were meticulously conserved by custodians in the West Yorkshire Archive Service, which will be available on the West Yorkshire Archive Service YouTube channel(external link).
  • Insight into Anne’s visits to The Piece Hall in Halifax via The Piece Hall Learning Zone(external link) throughout the day on Tuesday 22 September.
  • A ‘Light in the Darkness’ memorial service at the 900-year-old Halifax Minster, which was an important building to Anne, at 7pm on Tuesday 22 September (in line with COVID-19 guidelines). Find out more at link)
  • A free webinar by Calderdale Libraries on Monday 21 September at 3pm. ‘The Gentleman Jack Effect’ will look at Anne Lister’s impact on Calderdale with local experts. Input and feedback are welcomed in the session. Join in on Calderdale Council’s YouTube channel(external link).
  • The fan-led Anne Lister Research Summit(external link), a free online conference from Friday 25 to Sunday 27 September for research enthusiasts.

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

“Anne Lister has become well-known across the globe thanks to the phenomenal success of the Gentleman Jack TV series. Anne’s life and her historic home, Shibden Hall, are a key part of Calderdale’s heritage. It’s important to honour this remarkable woman’s life and impact, and we hope that people from the borough and beyond join us online for the events to mark 180 years since her death.”

Anne Lister fans are invited to post a short video on social media, talking about what Anne Lister and her legacy mean to them. Use the hashtag #AnneLister180 and tag in VisitCalderdale.

For more information about Anne Lister, Shibden Hall and Gentleman Jack, please visit and link)


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