I went to visit Shibden Hall at Halifax today. It’s probably best known as the home of Anne Lister and as there’s a BBC drama about her life due to air this spring I thought I’d better go before the rush.
The hall was originally built in 1420 by William Oates and was a medieval timber framed manor house. It’s changed since then, but the guide showed me some glimpses of the original house that can still be seen behind the later panelling – a huge oak beam supporting what was the original entrance, painted wooden panels in what is now the dining room and a huge fireplace hidden behind a smaller more modern one.
The hall passed to the Savile family and then the Waterhouses before being owned by the Listers for around 300 years. Anne Lister was responsible for the extensive alterations to the hall in the 19th century and also much of the landscaping in the garden which is now a very attractive park.