Anniversary celebrations for 'Gentleman Jack' Anne Lister in Halifax

A huge celebration of Halifax's Anne Lister's legacy takes place from Wednesday.

Monday, 20th September 2021, 12:16 pm
The Piece Hall

As September 22 marks 181 years since the famous Shibden Hall heiress's death, The Piece Hall has collaborated with Cultural Destination, Visit Calderdale and venues across Calderdale to create an exciting programme of events.

Between Wednesday and Saturday there will be a display on the ground floor of Halifax Central Library and Archives showcasing Anne Lister’s love of books.

There will also be items related to Anne Lister in the cases on the first floor, including letters from both Ann Walker and Anne Lister as well as one of Anne’s notebooks in which she details various treatments for ailments. An original diary will be out in this display case so visitors will be able to see one of Anne’s diaries in person.

Halifax Minster, where Anne Lister was baptised, worshipped and buried, will be open for quiet reflection from 10am until 8pm on Wednesday and 10am until 4pm on Thursday until Sunday.

On Thursday, there will be the Way of the Setts Pilgrimage Walk and Picnic, led by Rev Jane Finn. It starts inside Halifax Minster, progresses up Old Bank to Shibden and returns to Halifax Minster in the afternoon.

Friday will see the launch of Janet Lea's book ‘The Gentleman Jack Effect’ at The Book Corner in The Piece Hall between 11am and noon, followed by a talk and Q and A entitled The Piece Hall Presents – The Gentleman Jack Effect: In conversation with Helena Whitbread, Jill Liddington and Janet Lea. Taking place between 1pm and 3pm, it will be introduced by Nicky Chance-Thompsomn, Chief Executive of The Piece Hall, and be held at the Red Brick auditorium, Square Chapel.

Between 7pm and 9pm on Friday there will be a formal memorial service at Halifax Minster at 7pm.

On Saturday, The Piece Hall will host Peel Entertainment presenting Anne Lister and Friends Pop-up Performances in The Piece Hall courtyard between 10am and 4pm. Actors will bring Anne Lister’s story to life with walkabout performances throughout the day. There will also be a children's Anne Lister-themed activity trail available from The Welcome Centre.

Between 2pm and 4.30pm Calderdale Heritage Walks present Anne Lister’s Shibden: Marriage, mining and money walk, led by Jill Liddington.

On Sunday at 1pm there will be a special and unique event taking place in the courtyard of The Piece Hall.

Anne, who lived from 1791 to 1840, was a remarkable woman and her fascinating diaries of over five million words detailed her life, loves, health, business interests and politics.

Her journals are so historically significant, they have been inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.

They were also the basis for Sally Wainwright’s internationally successful BBC/HBO TV show ‘Gentleman Jack’, which was filmed in Calderdale.

For more information and details of how to book tickets to the events, visit