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Shibden Hall

OS grid reference:- SE 106 257

Shibden Hall is situated in a public park at the village of Shibden to the east of Halifax.

The hall was constructed around 1420 by William Otes, a wealthy cloth merchant. Prior to 1619, the estate was owned by the Savile and Waterhouse families. The families' armorial symbols are displayed in a magnificent sixteenth century stone-mullioned window in the hall. The hall retains its late medieval half-timbered frontage, although much of the interior has been altered over the centuries.

For three hundred years (circa 1615-1926) the Shibden estate was owned by the Lister family, wealthy mill-owners and cloth merchants, the most famous resident being the diarist Anne Lister (1791-1840), who commissioned York architect John Harper and landscape gardener Samuel Gray in 1830 to make extensive improvements to the house and grounds.

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 Lister family eventually , who donated Shibden Hall to Halifax Corporation. The Hall is set in a 32 hectares of informal park and woodland in the Shibden Valley. 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 and is set out as if people were still living here, with tables laid and possessions left out. The West Yorkshire Folk Museum is housed in an adjoining seventeenth century aisled 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.

Historic Buildings of Yorkshire