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Monday, 20 March 2017

84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester

84 Plymouth Grove.
Recently I had a very enjoyable visit to Mrs Gaskell's former home in Manchester - somewhere I've longed to explore for ages.

In this house (no. 42 in Gaskell's lifetime) Elizabeth wrote Cranford, Ruth, North and South, The Life of Charlotte Bronte, and her last, unfinished work, Wives and Daughters.

(Mary Barton was written at one of the Gaskells' previous houses, 121 Upper Rumford St in Manchester).

Family portraits and heirlooms.

Elizabeth grew to love her new home; there was plenty of room for family and friends, and it had a large garden for her children to play in.

William had his own study for his writing and pastoral work; Elizabeth often wrote at a round desk in the dining room.

After Elizabeth's sudden death in 1865, her husband William and unmarried daughters Meta and Julia stayed in the house. The two sisters were well known locally for their charity work.

Elizabeth's wedding veil. 

The house has been restored and furnished in a similar fashion to how the Gaskells would have known it; you can also see some family heirlooms, including Elizabeth's wedding veil, which was worn by her daughter Marianne on her own wedding day.

You have to pay for admission, but your ticket lasts for 12 months, so don't lose it! It was a cold, wet day when I visited, but it would be nice to explore the garden again in the summer.

Blue Plaque.
The dining room.


Tony Grant said...

I heard that they were doing Gaskell's house up. I would love to visit it. I have friends who live in Manchester. Maybe the next time I am ,"up north," from ,"down south!!" All the best, Tony

Sue Wilkes said...

Thanks, Tony!

Sue Wilkes said...

Posted by JaneGS (and accidentally deleted by me :( )!
I am doing a Hadrian's Wall Path walk this July and flying in and out of Manchester, so my current scheme is to try to fit in a quick visit to Gaskell's house the afternoon before our Friday morning flight back to the US. We're staying at the airport and coming in by train from York, and I thought I would check into the hotel and then take the train into Manchester and walk or taxi to Gaskell's house. Does that sound like a doable plan.

Thanks for the report and pictures--now, more than ever I want to seize the advantage of logistics and pay a call at Plymouth Grove.

Sue Wilkes said...

Hi Jane,
Sorry, I meant to click Publish and accidentally deleted your comment - the problems of trying to do stuff on my phone screen!
I am not sure if it's a doable plan as we drove to Plymouth Grove and so I don't know how the timings would work. The house is quite a long walk from the city centre (it's over a mile) so I guess a taxi might be better if you are short of time. There is a bus from the city centre - details of how to get to the house are here on the website,
Hope this helps. Sue.