Christmas at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

1st October 2018
in Events, Hire, news

We invite you to Elizabeth Gaskell’s House in Manchester for a Victorian-style Christmas. Join us for talks on Christmas customs and literature from the era, carols round the piano, Christmas crafts for the family, and classic family favourite, The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Talks & events

Victorian Christmas Customs

Wednesday 5 December, 2-2.45pm
Join Anthony Burton for a talk on Victorian Christmas customs and learn how Elizabeth and her family, as Unitarians, celebrated Christmas at Plymouth Grove. Seasonal refreshments will be on sale from 11-4pm in the Tea Room. Included in admission. No need to book.

Christmas Literature

Wednesday 12 December 2-2.45pm
Join Anthony Burton for a talk on Christmas literature during the Victorian period. Learn how the Victorians boosted Christmas marketing, not least in the book trade, and hear about the most famous seasonal offering, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and how Elizabeth Gaskell collaborated with Dickens in writing Christmas tales. Seasonal refreshments will be on sale from 11-4pm in the Tea Room. Included in admission. No need to book.

Christmas Carols

Thursday 6 & 13 December, 11am and 2pm
Join our House pianist for seasonal carols around the piano in the Drawing Room. Included in Admission.

Christmas Crafternoon Tea

Thursday 6 December, 1.30-4pm

Join us for Christmas Crafternoon Tea and make a Victorian-inspired patchwork Christmas tree decoration in our fun and creative festive workshop. You’ll learn the techniques for creating these lovely vintage-style decorations, and you’ll make one to take home with you. Tickets £19, including tuition, all materials, hot drink, cake and annual admission to the house. (£15 for those with a current admission ticket) Book tickets

Victorian Book Group – Little Women

Thursday 13 December, 1- 2.30pm
Join the group to discuss this old favourite, with its seasonal start. £1 plus usual admission.

For Families

The Muppet Christmas Carol and Family Crafts

Sunday 16 December, 1-3pm.
Get into the Christmas spirit and join us as we show one of the best (in our opinion) family Christmas films, The Muppet Christmas Carol. There will also be family Christmas crafts in the Servants’ Hall, plus mince pies and mulled wine on sale in the tea room.  And you can pick up some last-minute stocking fillers in the shop. Just £2 (plus usual admission) for all who want to watch the film. This event sold out last year – Book tickets

For more information on all events –

For Groups

Christmas packages for Private Group Visits to Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

All groups who book a private tour during November and December will be offered the opportunity to enhance their visit with a talk from one of the expert House tour guides about how Elizabeth Gaskell and her family celebrated Christmas.

Groups will find out which Victorian customs the family took part in and which, as Unitarians, they refrained from; how Elizabeth Gaskell decorated her home and her Christmas tree; and about Elizabeth’s collaboration with Charles Dickens in writing Christmas tales.

Groups will also be offered the opportunity to enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie as part of their visit to the House.

This special Christmas tour is offered at £15 per person* and includes a 45-minute tour of the house, seasonal refreshments and a talk on Elizabeth Gaskell and Christmas. Time is also given for visitors to view the new exhibition ‘Household Commotion’: Elizabeth Gaskell and the ‘awful treasure’ of her servants, 1832-1865 which runs until May 2019.

Private tours are available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays and must be pre-booked. To book contact

*Minimum group size of 10, maximum 60.

For Schools

School groups can experience a real Victorian Christmas at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House during November and December with a package of seasonal activities. This offer for primary schools includes:

  • Creating Victorian Christmas decorations for the Gaskell family Christmas tree
  • Preparing the place cards and menus for Christmas dinner in the Gaskells’ dining room
  • Making and playing with Victorian toys
  • Devising a stick puppet show based on Elizabeth Gaskell’s story Christmas Storms and Sunshine
  • Singing carols around the Gaskell family piano in the drawing room

For KS1 and KS2.  KS3 activities available on request.

School visits are available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays in November and December and must be pre-booked.  £3.50 per child. A visit last 1.5-2 hours.

Contact for private tours and school bookings at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House.



The interruptions of home life are never ending

Elizabeth Gaskell 1863