Launch to recreate Elizabeth’s Bedroom

2nd March 2020
in news


2 March 2020

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is about to embark on a new chapter, as it launches a campaign to re-create Elizabeth’s bedroom as it would have been when the property was her much-loved home.  To make this vision a reality, the staff and volunteers at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House are seeking the support of individuals and organisations to help purchase items and donate original Victorian objects.

Currently visitors to Elizabeth Gaskell’s House are warmly invited to discover the world and influences of one of the most important and popular writers of Victorian times.  The Grade II* listed property in Manchester is where you can see how Elizabeth lived, where she wrote some of her most famous novels, where she entertained guests, including Charlotte Bronte and Charles Dickens, and the gardens she cherished.  However, her former bedroom has been left unrestored since the House was opened to the public as a visitor attraction in 2014; until now.

Manchester Historic Building Trust, which cares for the house, has launched an appeal to try and gather the funds needed to transform this empty room back to its original purpose.  From detailed research, volunteers have produced a list of individual items, so that people have the option of selecting a particular object to fund.  This includes everything from a curtained bed and wardrobe, to finishing details like lamps, chamber sticks and bedroom textiles that would befitting a room in a middle-class Victorian house. The existing fireplace was removed, so a replacement is being installed, and it is believed there was once a chaise longue and hip bath in the room.  It is also hoped that people, and other heritage organisations, might have original Victorian artefacts that they might donate, or loan to Elizabeth Gaskell’s House.

The project has already attracted the support of the Little Greene Paint Company, which will be supplying the wallpaper and paint. Nostalgia in Stockport has also kindly sponsored the stone fireplace.

Sally Jastrzebski-Lloyd, House Manager of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House,says,  “This is such a thrilling project for Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, that will be a lovely addition to the visitor experience; enabling us to share further insight into Elizabeth’s world and the way she lived her life.

“The house was in a terrible state when the Trust took over the care of it in 2004 and there are no existing records detailing how this room would have looked, so we have a blank canvas.  What we hope to achieve is a reimagination of the room and a fitting legacy to Elizabeth.  Elizabeth’s own writing has been a rich starting point for our research, in that she had the ability to illuminate Victorian society and domesticity in a way quite unlike any other writer of her time.  We also have our finger’s crossed that some of the original pieces of furniture that were auctioned off during the house sale in 1913 might find their way back home through our appeal.”

The Regency-style property, built between 1835 and 1841, was home to the Gaskell family from 1850 until 1913.  It was a home regularly used for entertaining, just as it is today, with weddings and celebrations now an important part of the way in which the House functions.  Once completed, Elizabeth’s bedroom will become a part of the visitor experience and will also be made available for wedding couples to get ready before they take their vows, with both the Study and Drawing Room used for wedding services.

For further information on how to make a donation to the project to support the re-creation of Elizabeth’s bedroom visit

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is open every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 11:00am to 4:30pm.  Entry is £5.50 for adults and £4.50 for concessions (senior citizens and students).  For further information on visiting the House or holding a wedding at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House visit


For further information, or to set up an interview please contact Fido PR: / 0161 832 3588

A selection of images can be found here:

About Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is a Grade II* listed property that was built around 1835-1841 and is a rare surviving example of a suburban villa. The Manchester author lived in the House with her family from 1850 until her death in 1865. Her two daughters lived at the house until 1913. 

The Manchester Historic Buildings Trust was established in 1998 with the primary aim of saving Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. The House opened to the public in October 2014 with support and funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund and other charitable trusts.

The House is open to the public every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 11:00am-4.30pm and for private tours, room hire, events and weddings on all days.

Ticket prices: Adults £5.50, Concessions £4.50, Children under 16 free when accompanied by an adult. Tickets valid for re-entry for 12 months

84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester, M13 9LW

Twitter: @GaskellsHouse

Facebook: Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Private Tours by special arrangement – £12 per person (includes tour, tea/coffee and cake)

The House is available for weddings and room hire on all days. 

Second-hand book sale held every second Sunday. Included in admission.

A Large Cheerful, airy house, quite out of Manchester smoke.

Charlotte Brontë on visiting the House, 1851