Halifax Minster has seen a great increase in the number of visitors this summer following the recent Gentlemen Jack TV series.
The popular BBC One show first aired in April and follows the life of the famous landowner Anne Lister, who was baptised at Halifax Minster in 1791 and worshipped regularly there.
“Over the last year we have had a significant increase in visitor numbers after the re-opening of The Piece Hall. This is now compounded by the screening of Gentleman Jack and the story of Anne Lister – of Shibden Hall - buried and baptised here in the Minster,” said the Revd Canon Hilary Barber, vicar of Halifax Minster.
“Some days we get over 100 visitors and climbing.
“Whilst we are a House of God, and we pride ourselves in having three services nearly every day, we also have in our care an amazing historical asset with Clergy, paid and voluntary staff, who help keep the Minster open daily and reach out across the town and beyond.”
The TV series is based on the collected diaries of Lister, which talks about the ‘old’ church. When she did work on ‘Shabby Shibden’ she also copied the design of the high altar rails at the Minster for the gallery and staircase.
Anne Lister died in Koutais, Georgia and it took 7 months to return her body back to Halifax.
According to records, Anne Lister’s tombstone was located near the west end of the North Aisle. However, her remains were not discovered until March 2000, when work was ongoing to lay a flat stone floor across the west end of the building.
On taking out a wooden platform, a shallow chasm underneath was found and among the items then discovered were the damaged remains of Anne Lister’s tombstone (pictured above), lost for over 100 years but now on display in the Minster.