New security measures and visitor improvements are being made at the home of Anne Lister in Halifax.
After its most successful year ever, Shibden Hall has closed for winter in preparation of another busy season.
Staff are currently hard at work ensuring the historic home and its collections are preserved.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Councillor Susan Press, said: “Since Gentleman Jack aired in spring 2019, visitor numbers at Shibden Hall have exceeded all previous records. The winter closure period is vital to ensure that careful preservation work can take place in the historic hall.
“As well as general maintenance to the house and exhibits, we’ll also be making improvements to the visitor experience to ensure it continues to be of a high standard. We’ve already further developed our offer by launching an online store, which is proving popular and receiving orders from across the globe.”
The Hall and barn will be thoroughly cleaned alongside a programme of careful conservation work on many of the objects on display.
Essential work will take place on the heating system and minor building work will be taking place to the roof and guttering.
The security of the site is being improved with the installation of CCTV equipment. Work is also taking place to improve the visitor entrance and facilities for school groups.
There will also be improvements to the shop area as the increase in visitors and interest in all things Shibden has seen greater demand for souvenirs and Shibden merchandise.
To cope with this demand, the Council has also recently launched an online shop where books, bookmarks, keyrings, coasters, bags, fridge magnets, tea towels and notebooks are all on sale. Orders have already been received from as far away as America and Australia.
Shibden Hall will reopen to visitors from Monday March 2.
With a second series of Gentleman Jack confirmed, the Hall is expected to be closed for filming for a number of weeks during June / July and September / November 2020, so visitors planning ahead are encouraged to schedule their visit from March to May.