Blogs & News

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...

blog : Music lessons from Mr Hallé

It's 200 years years since Charles Hallé, who was to become one of the most celebrated conductors on Victorian England ( and who would have an orchestra named after him! ) ,was born in what is now Germany. As a young man he lived and studied in Paris, only moving to England at the outbreak of the Paris revolution in 1848. He came to Manchester in March that year after accepting an invitation to run the Manchester Gentlemen's Concerts...

blog : Elizabeth Gaskell as muse

The background: the House has been successful in securing funding from the Arts Council for a collaborative programme of arts activities which includes a series of creative writing workshops. Here, Ben Cassidy, who is attending the programme, describes his experience of the first session and shares his piece of flash fiction. Where to begin? The problem that faces all who set out to produce a piece of Creative Writing. Fortunately the tutor, poet Rachel Sills, had already prepared...

news : Your Holy Name Church

The Holy Name Church, on Oxford Road in Manchester, is a Grade 1 listed gothic revival building of 1869-71 by Joseph Hansom (10 minute walk from Elizabeth Gaskell's House). Built by the Jesuits, it served as a parish church to a local community of mainly Irish immigrant families until 1960 when the housing around the Church was cleared and the University took over the land. The Holy Name then became the Church of the University Catholic Chaplaincy, which...