House owned by Halifax’s Anne Lister up for sale

Nether Brea, which was once owned by Anne Lister
Nether Brea, which was once owned by Anne Lister

A historic house was once owned by one of Calderdale’s most famous women, who defied convention to pursue love and a lifeline for her ancestral home is up for sale.

Anne Lister, whose story is to be told in a BBC TV series written by Sally Wainwright, inherited the Shibden Hall estate, near Halifax, in 1836.

Nether Brea
Anne Lister, whose colourful and unconventional life will be the subject of a BBC TV series written by Sally Wainwright.

Nether Brea Anne Lister, whose colourful and unconventional life will be the subject of a BBC TV series written by Sally Wainwright.

It included Nether Brea, and Anne, openly lesbian and known as “Gentleman Jack” by locals, was a regular visitor to the property.

It was let to family friend George Robinson and her visits there are mentioned in her diaries. She is also thought to be responsible for its first major makeover and its Georgian frontage.

The BBC drama will explore Anne’s life and her relationship with her would-be wife, the wealthy heiress Ann Walker.

Sally Wainwright describes Anne as “one of the most exuberant, thrilling and brilliant women in British history” and adds: “Landowner, industrialist, traveller, mountaineer, scholar, would-be brain surgeon and prolific diarist, Anne returns from years of travel to her ancestral home, determined to restore it to its former glory, and determined to marry Ann Walker.

“It’s a beautifully rich, complicated, surprising love story.”

The property has a guide price of £690,000