Gaskell House Blogs

House Restoration Season: Behind the Scenes at Elizabeth’s House and Garden

10th November 2021
in blog, blogsNnews, Events, Gaskell House Blogs

Please note that these events took place in 2022 but recordings are available. Please see the link to our Frequently Asked Questions for more information FAQS.

Spring into action in 2022 with a new season of events exploring the restoration of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. We take a look behind the scenes at the specialist skills, knowledge and design work used to bring the house back to life. Look out for further events on Victorian style and colour coming soon! All online unless otherwise stated.

Previous Events

‘We’ve got a House…’ Remaking Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Wed 27th April 2022, 7-8pm

In 2014, 84 Plymouth Grove was transformed from a shell of student accommodation back into the beautiful Victorian family home it had been for novelist Elizabeth Gaskell and her family.

Join John Williams, Project Manager of the restoration, for this irreverent look behind the scenes as the house was brought to life. Find out about the meticulous research for original paint colours, chintz patterns, wood patterns, handwoven carpets and more – all in the House where literary classics Cranford, Ruth, North and South and Wives and Daughters were written. After all, who could resist some stunning Before and After pictures?

Changing Rooms: Restoring Elizabeth Gaskell’s Bedroom

Wed 25th May 2022, 7-8pm

A special look behind the scenes at the restoration of Elizabeth Gaskell’s bedroom back to its former glory. Join Jane Baxter to discover how Elizabeth’s bedroom was recreated taking inspiration from letters and novels and using historical evidence for the transformation, from room layout to Victorian chintz patterns and favourite styles. This intriguing talk explores the process of restoration and how the team showcased something of the private life of the woman behind classic novels such as North and South. With Jane Baxter.

The Gaskells’ Garden

Wed 8th June 2022, 7-8pm

‘A whispering of leaves and a perfume of flowers’…

So Charlotte Brontë wrote of her stay at her friend Elizabeth Gaskell’s house when she visited during a hot summer day in June 1851. Elizabeth herself had great hopes for the garden, writing that ‘Do you know I believe the garden will be a great delight in our new house.’

Now you can find out about the restoration of the Gaskell family garden based on original sources including maps, photographs, Elizabeth’s own letters and the occasional picture. Join Jackie Tucker to explore what the garden was like around 1850 and how it looks today with this introduction to the Victorian garden of one of our greatest novelists.

Plans are like a card-house-if one gives way, all the others come rattling about your head

Elizabeth Gaskell, 1864