Every year we create an Annual Report demonstrating the impact of the funding and donations we receive for the house and our activities. Read our Impact Report for 2022 below.
Whilst the House has begun to recover from the pandemic, there is still a way to go. Visitor figures remain lower than before the pandemic, so it is vital that you continue to support us by helping us spread the word and encouraging people to visit or donate to the House. Your continued support will help secure the future and health of the House.
Highlights from the last Year
It’s been such a jam-packed year of events and activities ranging from talks and weddings to book sales and garden trails, but we thought we’d pick out 5 of our 2022 highlights…
1. Lucy Powell MP visits for English Tourism Week
In March the Shadow Secretary for Culture, Lucy Powell MP, visited Elizabeth Gaskell’s House to mark the start of English Tourism Week 2023 and to find out more about the important contribution to tourism made by the House. During her visit Lucy met the staff team and some of our volunteers, who help Elizabeth Gaskell’s House to run so successfully, to find out more about our work. Lucy Powell MP said of her visit, ‘Elizabeth Gaskell’s House has had a huge impact on Manchester’s economy and I was particularly impressed by how they’ve managed to bring Elizabeth Gaskell – and Manchester itself – to an international audience with a series of online events during the pandemic. We’re incredibly lucky to have such a beautiful building with such rich history just outside the city centre and I’d urge anyone to find the time to visit.‘
2. New Gaskell Garden Trail
‘Every Plant that Peeps up is a Treasure’ wrote Elizabeth Gaskell about her garden in Manchester and this summer we encouraged families out into the garden to discover these treasures for themselves with a brand new digital and paper-based trail made possible thanks to a £5,250 grant from Museum Development North West and Arts Council England. The trail was devised by our under-25’s volunteer group, using QR codes to provide fun facts, illustrations and information on the plants, ways to reduce carbon emissions and wildlife in the garden. The tour attracted families throughout the school holidays and will be adapted in the future for different audiences and seasons.
3. Online Talks and Events
Over the last year we have delivered a wide variety of online events reaching over 2,000 people. These have been a fantastic way of engaging supporters old and new and from all across the globe.
Events have included the wonderful virtual House tours delivered by our own Dr Diane Duffy, to partnership events including the Online Talk ‘Adventures Abroad – Elizabeth Gaskell and Maria Graham’ in partnership with Chawton House.
Be sure to check out our upcoming events
4. Opening of Brontë Room – a new permanent exhibition space
On 15 September we opened The Brontë Room as a new permanent exhibition area at the House. This new exhibition explores Elizabeth’s role in Victorian society in a way that has never previously been done. As well as being an acclaimed author Elizabeth Gaskell was a radical changemaker of her time and one connected with other notable female reformers.
Thanks to an AIM Biffa Award History Makers grant, provided by the Landfill Communities Fund, the exhibition includes a new visitor film, interactive dressing table, wall-mounted interpretation, touch screen, interactive games, dressing up and handling objects.
Improvements have also been made to the Morning Room including a new touch screen showing original letters written to Elizabeth from her contemporaries, and a new desk style display case showing books previously not on display. Find out more here
5. Coming soon – Tales of Manchester Life Exhibition
This new exhibition will explore how Elizabeth Gaskell presented Manchester and its people through her novels and short stories, and the impact she had through her writing. Elizabeth was a true radical of her time, but as a woman the influence and importance of her writing has not been recognised by history in the way that it has for her contemporaries such as Charles Dickens. Seeking to redress this, ‘Tales of Manchester Life – Elizabeth Gaskell’s Manchester’ has been curated in partnership with the volunteers and will open to the public in April 2023. Friends will be offered priority places for the launch of the new exhibition – we will be in touch with further details in the new year. Find out more
That’s all from us for now. In the meantime we would like to thank you all for your continued support.