Plans to step up Shibden Hall security to protect it from potential arson and malicious attacks

Security measure are to be stepped up at Shibden Hall to protect it from potential arson and malicious attacks.

The historic building which was the home of Anne Lister has new found fame after the hit BBC drama Gentleman Jack

Shibden Hall

Shibden Hall

A large proportion of the series was filmed at Shibden Hall.

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Plans have now been submitted to Calderdale Council to instal of CCTV, security gates, smoke detection system, two internal doors and Isothermal glazing to a window.

In a heritage statement submitted alongside the proposals it states: "The consequential publicity and public interest has resulted in Shibden’s profile being significantly raised locally, nationally and internationally.

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"Visitor number have dramatically increased by somewhere in the order of 700%.

"Whilst in the main this is excellent news there are some concerns that the publicity may attract a minority intent on malicious damage, particularly in relation to arson and physical damage."

"There are barriers to prevent vehicles getting close the hall but limited physical barriers for pedestrians.

"At present there is no means of monitoring the hall out of hours except through the current security and fire alarms.

"Once these are activated someone is either in the hall or a fire has been started which in the case of Shibden could result in its total loss."

To improve security and reduce the potential risk of malicious damage to Shibden Hall a number of passive and active measures are proposed.

As part of the security measures it is proposed that three new gates are installed on the access routes around the hall.

It is the intention that installing these gates will direct people along other paths away from and around Shibden Hall.

The installation of Iso-thermal glazing to the House Body window hopes to protect the structure for the future.

The main house body window comprises carved stone mullions and cills and is glazed with leaded lights including examples of hand painted 14th century glass.

The ground level window is very vulnerable to damage. The majority of the other windows in the main house are fitted with internal timber shutters.

However, the main house body window has no such protection. It is proposed that in order to preserve the historic glazing iso-thermal protective glazing is installed in front of the historic glazing.

Shibden Hall is protected by a traditional fire alarm system with smoke and heat detectors and associated sirens.

The alarm system is monitored and the fire brigade respond to an alarm as a priority response.

It is hoped the proposed installation of an aspirating smoke detection (VESDA) system will significantly reduce the time to activation meaning the fire brigade get to the property well before the fire has developed. In addition the nature of the VESDA installation means that it can cover a greater area without additional visually intrusive smoke detector

The heritage statements adds: " Shibden Hall is a fine example of a half-timbered manor house from 1420’s.

"It has been extended and altered by its various owners including Ann Lister.

"It is of national importance hence its Grade II listing.

"The recent “Gentleman Jack” TV series profiling the life of diarist Ann Lister has further raised its profile both nationally and internationally.

"This increase in profile is largely welcomed and beneficial; unfortunately there is a possibility that a bigoted minority may see the hall and its surroundings as representing something they do not agree with.

"This may result in vandalism or malicious damage. The nature of the hall’s construction, its vulnerable location coupled potential malicious intent could result in the complete loss of the hall.

"The proposals to install monitored CCTV, additional perimeter gates, iso-thermal glazing to the house body window, a VESDA system and additional internal doors will combine to reduce the potential of harm and the consequences of any malicious vandalism or fire setting.

"All the proposals will be discreetly installed to ensure that they cause less than substantial harm to the heritage asset and its surroundings. Together they will provide multi levels of protection to ensure that any malicious or criminal activity is either detected early or prevented from happening."