"What men do. Is completely different to what we do"



The Grand Houses of GJ


Shibden Hall

Built c.1420 by a John Otes, a farmer/merchant, as "Schepdene" ("Sheep Valley"). Anne claims that it is "the oldest house in Halifax".
The estate passed into Lister control in 1614 when Samuel Lister (1570-1632), Anne's great-great-great-great-grandfather, took possession.
Anne inherited Shibden from her uncle James on his death in 1826.
Ann was left a life interest by Anne; after her death the estate passed back into Lister ownership in 1855.
The last Lister to reside at Shibden, John Lister (1847-1933), unable to pay his debts sold the estate to Arthur McCrea in 1923, who allowed John and his sister Anne Lister (d.1929) to live there until their deaths.
McCrea immediately donated the estate to Halifax Corporation; the park became a public park ("Happy Valley") in 1926 and the hall opened as a museum in 1933 after the death of John Lister.
Shibden continues under the stewardship of Calderdale Council (museums.calderdale.gov.uk/visit/shibden - hall). Please visit.
The hall is about a mile north-east of Halifax Minster.
More about Shibden

Lidgate, aka Lydgate House, Lightcliffe

Part of the Walker family's Lightcliffe Estate.
Ann lived here from 183½ until moving to Shibden in 1834. All the Crow Nest scenes in GJ that actually happened, happened here.
The house is currently divided into flats, and is surrounded by a post-war housing estate.
Less than 2 miles east of Shibden Hall. "Ι can walk anywhere in 25 minutes."

Cliffe Hill, aka Cliffhill House, Lightcliffe

Original house became part of the Walker family's Lightcliffe estate around 1760.
Built c.1775 by William Walker, Ann's uncle.
Ann possibly born here, and lived here until c.1809.
Ann died here.
Still extant.
The house of Aunt Ann Walker in GJ - and also in real life in 1832.
About half a mile south of Lidgate.

Crow Nest, Lightcliffe

Part of the Walker family's Lightcliffe Estate.
Home of the Walker family.
Ann lived here from c.1809 until 183½, when she moved to Lidgate.
Aunt Ann Walker lived here - but Ι don't know who was resident in 1832.
Built c.1775 as a near replica of Pye Nest by William Walker, Ann's uncle.
Demolished c.1955, but the "Coach Road" running south from Wakefield Road in Lightcliffe still exists. Travelling south along the Coach Road, Cliffe Hill can be seen on the left, and the remains of one of the entrances to Crow Nest on the right.
Sally Wainwright had Ann living here in GJ, perhaps because Crow Nest was much grander than Lidgate. The interior & exterior were filmed at Sutton Park (www.sutton-park.co.uk/visit-sutton-park).
About half a mile south of Lidgate, west of Cliffe Hill.

New House, Lightcliffe

Part of the Walker family's Lightcliffe Estate.
Home of William (Ann's cousin) and Eliza "Is that what you call it?" Priestley.
Built c.1529 & rebuilt c.1775 by William Walker, Ann's uncle.
Rebuilt again by Andrew Scott McLaurin (1819-1870) c.1850 and renamed The Grange.
Demolished 2016.
GJ exterior filmed at Haugh End.
Located 500 yards west of Lidgate and less than 2 miles from Shibden.

Fenny Royd, aka Fenny Royd Hall, Hipperholme

Probably part of the Walker family's Lightcliffe Estate.
The Washington family really did live here, at least from 1830 to 1832.
Still extant (private house).
Located midway between Shibden Hall and Lidgate.

Haugh End, aka Haugh End House, Sowerby Bridge

The home of Major Henry & Mary Priestley. Henry was William Priestley's first cousin.
Ι think it was here Anne that was staying with Mariana just before her (Mariana's) marriage to Charles Lawton in 1816, as recounted in the opening scenes of The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister: At Haugh End she writes: "A thousand reflections & recollections crowded on me last night - the last time Ι slept in this room & this bed it was with Mariana (in 1815, the summer of)" (13-Sep-1817).
The exterior shots of New House in GJ were filmed here, including the wonderful scene where Anne tears the rapist reverend a new one: "...you will be exposed, Mr. Ainsworth, as... An adulterer. And a fornicator."
Located four miles west of Shibden Hall.

Stoney Royd, Halifax

Home of elderly Mrs Rawson "Most women are dull and stupid. But not her.", Christopher, Jeremiah and Stansfield's mother.
Built c.1764 by Christopher Rawson (1712-1780), Mrs Rawson's father-in-law, the grounds were converted to a cemetery in 1861. The mansion became a fever hospital in 1872, and was demolished c.1936.
Now a private house, one of the original lodges ("Middle Lodge") remains; the site of the Rawson house is due south of here.
Located about a mile and a half south-west of Shibden.

Pye Nest, aka Pyenest House, Halifax

Built in the 1770s for John Edwards (1737-1823), Ann's maternal grandfather. Coincidentally, the land was sold to John Edwards by Japhet Lister, Anne's great-uncle.
In 1832 it was occupied by John Edwards' son Henry (Ann's uncle) and his wife Lea (née Priestley - William Priestley's cousin), and it is presumably this Mrs Edwards with whom Anne was on friendly visiting terms from around 1816, and the "Mr and Mrs Edwards of Pye Nest" that Aunt Ann Walker invokes in GJ.
The house was demolished in 1935, and in the 1940s the grounds were given over to housing.
The exact site of Pye Nest House is unknown (to me), but several roads north of Sowerby Bridge bear the name Pye Nest or Edwards.

Gledholt, Huddersfield

Ann mentions Gledholt in episode 5: "You can guarantee Mrs. Priestley will have done the rounds. Cliffhill, Stoneyroyd, Gledholt, Lord knows where else." The Stansfield Rawsons lived here from 1803, and it's mentioned in the 1833 diary: "at Mr Stansfield Rawson's at Glenholt near Huddersfield" ( 22-Jan-1833). Catherine & Delia ("the lips") Rawson were almost certainly born here.
Renamed Gledholt Hall in the mid twentieth century.
Located eight miles south of Shibden.



Page updated 4-May-2020
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