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Lived: Shibden Hall, Lister’s Rd, Halifax, West Yorkshire HX3, UK (53.72826, -1.83997)
Crow Nest & Cliffe Hill, Lightcliffe, Halifax, West Yorkshire HX3, UK (53.7254, -1.79181)
Buried: St Matthew's, Wakefield Road, Lightcliffe, West Yorkshire, HX3 8TH
Find A Grave Memorial# 161199401

Anne Lister was a well off Yorkshire landowner, diarist, mountaineer and traveler. Throughout her life, she kept diaries, which chronicled the details of her daily life, including her lesbian relationships, her financial concerns, her industrial activities and her work improving Shibden Hall, near Halifax in the West Riding of Yorkshire, which she had inherited from her uncle, James Lister. Called "Fred" by her lovers and "Gentleman Jack" by Halifax residents, she suffered from harassment for her sexuality, and recognized her similarity to the Ladies of Llangollen, whom she visited. Lister had an affair with a wealthy heiress, Ann Walker, whom she met in September 1832; her eventual marriage (which of course was denied legal recognition) to Walker in 1834 was highly unusual. In 1830, while travelling in France, Lister was the first woman to ascend Mont Perdu in the Pyrenees. Lister died aged 49 of a fever at Koutais (now Kutaisi, Georgia) while travelling with Walker. In the paper obituary Walker is described as Anne Lister’s friend and companion. Walker, to whom ownership
of Shibden Hall passed, had Lister buried in the parish church in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Walker died in 1854 at her home, Cliff Hill in Lightcliffe, after spending some years in an asylum in York. Lister is often called "the first modern lesbian" for her clear self-knowledge and openly lesbian lifestyle.

Together from 1832 to 1840: 8 years.
Ann Walker (May 28, 1803 – March 4, 1854)
Anne Lister (April 3, 1791 - September 22, 1840)

Elizabeth Walker, Ann Walker's sister

Days of Love edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
ISBN-10: 1500563323
Release Date: September 21, 2014
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House: Ann Walker moved to Crow Nest when she was six years old. Her grandparents had rebuilt the house, to designs of Thomas Bradley, in 1788. It was a virtual copy of Pye Nest in Halifax, designed by the celebrated York architect John Carr. Her grandparents had also rebuilt nearby Cliffe Hill in 1780.

Address: Crow Nest, Coach Road, Hove Edge, Brighouse HD6 2LN, UK (53.7254, -1.79181)
Address: Cliffe Hill, 146 Wakefield Rd, Lightcliffe, Halifax HX3 8TH, UK (53.7254, -1.79181)

Crow Nest, Lightcliffe was originally a farm. A building is recorded here in 1592 when it was occupied by the Booth family. The building fell into decay after WWI, and was demolished in the mid-1950s. The gatehouse at 82 Wakefield Road is now a private house and is listed. The mid-XIX century single span segmental arched bridge which still stands on the Coach Road is listed. Subsequent owners and tenants have included: John Cowper (1627), Rev William Ainsworth (1632-1649), Rev Alexander Bate, the Mitchell family, James Mitchell, John Mitchell, the Walker family (from 1682), Abraham Walker (1692), William Walker, William Walker, John Walker, Ann Walker. A new house – almost a replica of Pye Nest House – was built for William Walker, and designed by Thomas Bradley. For extensions in 1775, designed by John Carr, William Walker brought timber from the Baltic coast of Russia, then to Hull and finally by canal to Brighouse. The estate occupied 700 acres. It is recorded that the rooms were 16 ft in height. Sir Titus Salt was tenant from 1848 to 1854, but he had to leave when Evan Charles Sutherland-Walker wanted to live there himself. In the 1860s, Sutherland-Walker further extended the mansion with the construction of the entrance and the gatehouse. When he lived at the house, Sutherland-Walker had his own gas works which supplied Crow Nest and Cliffe Hill. In 1867, when Sutherland-Walker fell on hard times, the estate, comprising 2 mansion houses – Crow Nest and Cliffe Hill – other property including the Sun Inn, Lightcliffe and the Travellers’ Rest, Hipperholme and almost 700 acres of land, was sold at auction at the New Assembly Rooms. Crow Nest was sold to Sir Titus Salt for £26,000. Salt built the lake in the grounds, and added his arms to the gatehouse depicting rams and llamas. After Salt’s death in 1876, the house was bought by Richard Kershaw for £34,000 Richard Kershaw discovered the beds of stone which lay beneath the land, and carried out quarrying on the land around the mansion. When Kershaw died in 1917, the house was sold to Joseph Brooke. Sulphur emissions and picric acid from Brooke’s nearby chemical works had contaminated the stream through the grounds of Crow Nest – thereby bringing down the price of the property when Brooke was buying the property – and Kershaw’s solicitors sued the company for compensation, but lost their claim. The company exploited the grounds and the house for stone. During WWI, it was used to billet soldiers from Dunkirk. They damaged the house, and a lorry-driver collided with Titus Salt’s gateway, damaging the pillars and breaking a decorative urn. Cliffe Hill Mansion, Lightcliffe, was built on the site of an earlier house dated 1350. In 1947, it was divided into apartments. Owners and tenants have included: the Cliffe family, the Overall family (XVI century), Henry Hargreaves (1657.) Around 1760, the house was bought by the Walker family – who already owned Crow Nest Mansion. It was rebuilt in 1775, when William Walker brought timber from the Baltic coast of Russia. Ann Walker lived here. It passed to Evan Charles Sutherland-Walker. In 1862, John Foster was a tenant. Also listed at the house are: Abraham Briggs Foster, John Foster, Jonas Foster (1867), Sir William Henry Aykroyd (1880, 1901.) The crest of John Foster is displayed over the entrance: “Justum Perficito Nihil Timeto” (Act justly and fear nothing.) In 1867, Sutherland-Walker sold the house to Major Johnston Jonas Foster. It was later leased to Sir William Aykroyd. In the end David Hepworth bought the house.

Who: Ann Walker (May 28, 1803 – March 4, 1854)
Ann’s father had inherited Crow Nest following the death of his elder brother, who died without issue. She in turn inherited the estate, as the oldest surviving child, following her father’s death. Her four siblings had all died either in infancy or before the age of 43. Ann, who was a shy lady, prone to melancholy illness and a deep lack of confidence, also owned a home at Lydgate. It was here that her friendship with Anne Lister (1791–1840) of Shibden Hall developed. Anne Lister became a regular visitor and Ann began to see her as a companion with the promise of hope, love and fortune. Their friendship, as we know from Anne Lister’s diaries, developed rapidly although Ann Walker, who possessed a strong sense of Christian duty, was often wracked with religious guilt. They eventually agreed that they would live together at Shibden Hall but clearly masked the full extent of their friendship. They travelled widely in Europe and beyond and continued to maintain both their estates. They were in Russia when Anne Lister died and Ann Walker brought the body back for burial in Halifax Parish Church. She had been left a “life interest” in Shibden Hall by her friend. However, Ann’s health and mental state declined as she struggled to maintain the two estates. Matters came to a head when she was forcibly removed from her locked room at the hall by her family and the local constable and consigned to an asylum in York. She returned to Cliffe Hill shortly before her death in 1854. Her nephew Evan Charles Sutherland Walker inherited the estate. Ann Walker is buried at St Matthew's (Wakefield Road, Lightcliffe, West Yorkshire, HX3 8TH).

Queer Places, Vol. 2 edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1532906312
ISBN-10: 1532906315
Release Date: July 24, 2016
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House: Timber-framed manor with period rooms, restored gardens, a mini-railway, a boating lake and woods.

Address: Shibden Hall Road, Halifax, Calderdale HX3 9XY, UK (53.72826, -1.83997)
Hours: Monday through Thursday 10.00-17.00, Saturday-Sunday 11.00-17.00
Phone: +44 844 686 1177
English Heritage Building ID: 437379 (Grade II, 1954)

Remodeled in 1830, Design by John Harper (1809-1842), Landscape Desgin by Samuel Gray
For three hundred years (c. 1615-1926) the Shibden estate was in the hands of the Lister family, wealthy mill-owners and cloth merchants, the most famous resident being Anne Lister, who became sole owner of the hall after the death of her aunt. The hall dates back to around 1420, when it was recorded as being inhabited by one William Otes. Prior to 1619, the estate was owned by the Savile and Waterhouse families. The three families’ armorial symbols are recorded in a stone-mullioned 20-light window at the hall. The building has been extensively modified from its original design by generations of residents, although its Tudor half-timbered frontage remains its most recognisable feature. A gothic tower was added to the building for use as a library and the major features of the park created, including terraced gardens, rock gardens, cascades and a boating lake. A Paisley Shawl garden designed for the terrace by Joshua Major was added in the 1850s. The estate became a public park in 1926 and the hall a museum in 1934. The park and gardens were restored between 2007 and 2008 with almost £3.9 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £1.2 million from Calderdale Council. The hall is currently open to the public, the West Yorkshire Folk Museum being housed in an adjoining barn and farm buildings. The hall has a variety of restored workshops, including a brewery, a basket-weaving shop, a tannery, a stable and an extensive collection of horse-drawn carriages. The park also contains a dry stone walling exhibition, children’s play area and miniature steam railway.

Who: Anne Lister (April 3, 1791 - September 22, 1840) and Ann Walker (May 28, 1803 – March 4, 1854)
On September 22, 1840, Anne Lister (1791-1840) died of a fever in Koutais (now Kutaisi, Georgia). It took five weeks for news of Anne's death in Georgia to reach Halifax; it was announced in the Halifax Guardian on 31st October. The announcement includes these words: "We are informed that the remains of this distinguished lady have been embalmed and that her friend and companion, Miss Walker, is bringing them home by way of Constantinople, for interment in the family vault." She is buried at St John the Baptist (Coley Rd, Hipperholme, Halifax HX3 7SA). During the Millennium restoration of the Parish Church (as it then was) Anne's broken, incomplete tombstone was rediscovered under wooden flooring in the north east corner of the church, having been lost since 1878/9. The estate passed to her lesbian lover, Ann Walker, whom she had met in September 1832, who died in 1854 at her home, Cliff Hill in Lightcliffe. Possession then returned to the Lister family, who donated it to Halifax Corporation.

Queer Places, Vol. 2 edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1532906312
ISBN-10: 1532906315
Release Date: July 24, 2016
CreateSpace Store:
Amazon (print):
Amazon Kindle:


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