Literary lovers are in for a treat at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, with a new addition to the visitor experience at one of the country’s finest literary houses.
When the work to recreate Elizabeth Gaskell’s bedroom is complete, the house will be available for small weddings – and brides will be able to use the literary room to dress and get ready if they like before they get married.
The whole house reflects the warmth and love Elizabeth felt for her family home, being the place where she wrote some of her most famous novels and raised her children, and the bedroom is no exception.
While the Grade II* listed house was restored and opened as a visitor attraction in 2014, Elizabeth’s bedroom has been empty.Detailed research has enabled the project team to recreate the room as they believe it would have been in Elizabeth’s time; from the grand fireplace and ornately carved four-poster bed to the bellpull to beckon the servants and clothing garments.
It’s a beautiful, naturally brightly lit room with different floral patterns, colours, and textures, combining middle-class interiors and tastes of Victorian Britain. The Elizabeth Gaskell team will share their experiences and the insight they gained from stepping into the shoes of one of the most highly regarded authors of her time to make the vision for this project a reality.
The bedroom will be enjoyed by visitors to Elizabeth Gaskell’s home when it reopens to the public on Wednesday, 19 May 2021. In the future, it will be one of the period rooms made available to wedding couples holding their celebration at the House.
This is a project that has been approached with love and devotion from the very beginning, supporters helped with fundraising prior to lockdown, and the work has been carried out since, largely led by a wonderful team of volunteers.
Elizabeth Gaskell’s bedroom will be just one part of the new visitor experience that awaits when the House reopens. The exhibition A Love Affair with Cranford will explore and challenge the chocolate box image of Elizabeth’s most well-known collection of stories, Cranford; a book that has never been out of print a global popularity bar. Amongst the exhibits will be one of the costumes that Dame Judi Dench, a Patron of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, wore in the BBC serialisation of the novel. As part of the Open House media event, the exhibition will be available to preview and the curatorial team behind it will be on hand for interviews.
When Elizabeth Gaskell’s House reopens on Wednesday 19 May, all of the period rooms will be available to enjoy together with a stroll in the villa garden and the exhibition A Love Affair with Cranford. Finishing off the perfect outing are refreshments in the Tea Room, located in what was once the kitchen. Tickets are bookable in advance and priced at adults £5.50, concessions (senior citizens and students) £4.50 and children under 16 FREE (when accompanied by an adult).