These are the events taking place at Halifax Minster as part of the Anne Lister birthday celebrations

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Halifax Minster is gearing up to celebrate the birthday of one of the town’s most famous daughters.

Anne Lister of Shibden Hall, who was baptised and buried in the Minster, was born more than two centuries ago, on April 3 1791.

The launch of the annual Anne Lister Birthday Week celebrations get underway on Thursday, March 30 with a tour and a talk dedicated to the forward-thinking landowner and celebrated diarist, famous for her revelations for which she was dubbed ‘the modern lesbian.’

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Her story was captured recently by television writer, producer, and director Sally Wainwright in her award-winning historical drama series, ‘Gentleman Jack’ – the name given to Anne Lister because of her masculine appearance.

Portrait of Anne ListerPortrait of Anne Lister
Portrait of Anne Lister

The Anne Lister birthday tour and talk are now expected to bring fans flocking once again to the Minster.

The first tour takes place on Thursday from 10.30am to noon with a second tour on Friday, March 31 from 2.30pm to 4pm. They will be led by President of Halifax Antiquarian Society, David Glover, a true Anne Lister aficionado.

He said: “The Minster is beautiful on its own, a place of worship for over 900 years. But what secrets lie in its baptismal font, memorials, and ledger stones? What stories can it tell of Anne Lister’s life? She rests here with so many of her contemporaries - and oh, the stories they can tell!”

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A talk, Loyalty and Royalty, takes place from 7.30pm to 9pm. It features authors Helena Whitbread, and Jill Liddington; Helena is a local historian and the editor/decoder of the diaries of Anne Lister, and Jill’s books about Anne Lister, Female Fortune (1998) and Nature's Domain (2003) inspired the Gentleman Jack series.

Halifax MinsterHalifax Minster
Halifax Minster

This special event will be hosted by Pat Esgate who will be talking to Helena and Jill about how Anne Lister changed their lives.

Vicar of Halifax Minster, Rev Canon Hilary Barber said: “The Minster has been delighted to support the Anne Lister Birthday Week Festival and to host guided tours and a number of specific events as part of the festival, which has grown in popularity year on year - and this year promises to be no exception.”

Tickets for the tour and talk are available here: