Elizabeth Gaskell’s house is launching interactive virtual tours

Now you can take a virtual tour of the Regency-style villa and learn how the Manchester writer’s novels came to life within its walls
Photo: Mark Tattersall
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Manchester has a rich literary legacy, but Elizabeth Gaskell’s house is its only literary home; one that would welcome visitors including Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens and John Ruskin.

The Grade II* listed property, a rare surviving example of a suburban villa, was built around 1835-1841.

The Manchester author lived in the house with her family from 1850 until her death in 1865, and her two daughters lived at the house until 1913. 

Elizabeth Gaskell’s house opened to the public in October 2014 with support and funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund and other charitable trusts.

And though physical tours are not possible at the moment, soon you’ll be able to take a virtual tour of the Regency-style villa.

There are so many stories to discover: stories of Elizabeth’s friendships with some of the most famous faces of the Victorian era, stories of why this was such a beloved family home, and stories of how Elizabeth’s novels came to life within the walls of this house.

Complete with tour guides and 360° photography, the tours will move around the house, including visits to the Morning Room, Study, Drawing Room and Dining Room.

Places are limited to 20 people per tour so that there is plenty of opportunity to ask questions about each of the rooms.

All the money raised by Elizabeth Gaskell’s House’s events programme and online shop goes towards the maintenance and running of the house, which is managed by the charity Manchester Historic Buildings Trust. 

Photo: Mark Tattersall

“The online talks we have hosted over the last few months have been a great success, attracting lots of participation and wonderful feedback,” said Sally Jastrzebski-Lloyd of Elizabeth Gaskell’s house.

“We’ve applied the experience we’ve gained from these to create an online tour that we think will be really enjoyable because of its very visual and interactive nature. 

“We are also delighted that through these events we are able to reach not only a regional and national audience, but also Elizabeth Gaskell fans worldwide. 

“Plus every ticket booked helps us to continue to run this treasured literary home.”

The first tours will take place on Thursday 11th February at 7pm and Saturday 20th February at 10.30am, with more dates to be announced. Tickets are £10, including a discount to enjoy in the online shop. Tours will take place on Zoom and must be booked in advance, with all the details here

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