Blogs & News

blog : Visiting Manchester Cathedral

To celebrate English Tourism Week 2019, Visit Manchester organised a culture swap across Manchester's heritage venues. We were lucky enough to visit the Grade 1 listed Manchester Cathedral where Amos Millington, one of the Cathedral volunteers, gave us a most interesting tour of the building. There has been a church on the site since before 1086. The Domesday Book that year records that Manchester had a church dedicated to St Mary the Blessed Virgin , probably  slightly to...

blog : Edgeworthia chrysantha: a shrub with history

On the 3 April we planted an Edgeworthia chrysantha in the large border to the side of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. A month earlier I had visited RHS Wisley and seen these shrubs for the first time. Over a hundred of them have been planted in borders there. They have a lovely yellow flower which apparently lasts for months during winter and early spring and a powerful perfume. Winter flowers are always scarce so this pretty shrub with its...

blog : My family, the Dukinfield Darbishires

Sascha Roos, a member of the Dukinfield Darbishire family - who were great friends of the Gaskells - visited the House recently and has written this fascinating blog about her family connections with the Gaskells... About my family, the Dukinfield Darbishires, or The D.D.s', as Elizabeth Gaskell affectionately called them... Recently I had a delightful second visit to Elizabeth Gaskell's House in Plymouth Grove, with the added excitement that my great great great grandparents were regular visitors to...

blog : My favourite object- William’s desk and the strange tale of the Baker Street Bazaar

Come in through the front door of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House and look to the right. You will find yourself looking into William Gaskell’s study with its large library table positioned in front of original bookshelves and their collection of 19th century books. William’s benign portrait gazes down from above the fireplace. Imagine yourself as William sitting in a chair behind this desk, writing a sermon or notes for a lecture, looking out of the window onto Plymouth Grove...

blog : Another historic house – visiting the Watts Gallery – Artists Village

I recently visited the Watts Gallery - Artists Village, primarily to see their wonderful exhibition 'Christina Rossetti : Vision and Verse', but my Elizabeth Gaskell antennae are are always finely tuned and were twitching! In 1891,the Victorian artist George Frederic Watts moved with his wife Mary Seton Watts to Limnerslease, the house they had commissioned at Compton from Ernest George . Once established in Limnerlease, and with her characteristic energy,  Mary used the skills of local people she'd...