Blogs & News

blog : Lancashire Day

Lancashire Day holds a proud and established history in the county, commemorating the day on which the first-elected representatives called to London by King Edward I in 1295.  This Tuesday 27 November 2018, the county will celebrate its history and how it has shaped the rest of the nation. In Elizabeth Gaskell’s first novel, Mary Barton (1848), John Barton makes the journey down to London as a part of the vast crowd that presents the 1839 Chartist Petition...

blog : William Gaskell and the Unitarian Chapel on Upper Brook Street

The recently restored Unitarian Chapel on Upper Brook Street is an important part of the Gaskell legacy in Manchester, as well as being an important part of Unitarian history as the first purpose built Unitarian chapel in England. The impetus to build the Chapel came from William Gaskell himself - which gives me an opportunity to show  the wonderful portrait of William by Annie Swynnerton which, while usually on display in the House,  is currently starring  in the Annie...

blog : About two rather different Elizabeths…

  Wightwick Manor, built by Theodore Mander , is a beautiful Aesthetic Style house in the Midlands which houses a remarkable collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings. Most of the collection was put  together by Geoffery Mander, who with his second wife Rosalie Glynn Grylls, bought paintings by artists such as Rossetti, Burne-Jones and Millais. I love this picture of Effie Ruskin painted when Millais was with her and her then husband, John Ruskin in Scotland . They also collected...

blog :  Dame Mabel Tylecote

William Gaskell’s study is home to a collection of mainly 19th Century books which have reached Elizabeth Gaskell’s House through a variety of purchases and donations. I am currently creating an inventory of these books, which includes a note of any inscriptions or ownership attributions inside, thinking that some of these former owners will turn out to be interesting in themselves. On the shelves are over 50 titles by John Ruskin, the leading art critic, artist and polymath...

blog : Conservation Cleaning Training

On Monday morning, a few of our volunteers gathered at the house to learn about preventative conservation. The morning was led by Nettie Cook, a freelance conservationist and specialist on furniture restoration, who has worked extensively with the National Trust, and other heritage organisations. She has run other conservation days at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, and joined us this morning to discuss the books, and the metal work. The morning began with coffee and introductions, before moving into the...