Shibden Hall is only minutes from the busy centre of Halifax, yet it is reminiscent of a time when the area was countryside and sheep farming was the major industry.
The Hall owes its creation to the wool trade, which made the textile industry the main employer in the local area. Cloth production created jobs for thousands and wealth for a lucky few, such as William Otes, a cloth merchant who built a house here around 1420. The house was owned and adapted by various prosperous families over the years, notably the Listers who resided here for over 300 years from 1619. In 1933 the Halifax Corporation took possession of Shibden Hall and opened it as a museum the following year.
Each generation has left its mark on Shibden and it is fascinating to tour the rooms and see how interior design has changed over the centuries. The house is set out as if people were still living here, with tables laid and possessions left out.
The house and its interior were constructed from some of the finest materials available. The original oak floorboards in the hall’s main bedroom measure over five yards long and
16 inches wide. You can also see a stunning 16th-century 20-light stained glass window, featuring coats of arms of all the families who lived here.
Behind Shibden Hall is a 17th-century stone barn. This is now a folk museum featuring items local to the area, which would have been used by workers on the Shibden estate. Visitors can also enjoy the parkland with a lake and miniature railway.
Don’t miss: the dining room’s cheese boat – on castors for ease of movement around