‘We've got a house...it certainly is a beauty...I must try and make the house give as much pleasure to others as I can.’
Elizabeth Gaskell, in a letter to her friend Eliza Fox in 1850.
Welcome to 84 PLymouth Grove, Manchester. For over 150 years, this house has been associated with its most famous resident: the novelist, Elizabeth Gaskell, who lived here from 1850 to 1865.
The House, now a Grade II listed property, was built between 1835-1841 on the outer edge of the growing city. It was built as part of a new suburdan development planned by Richard Lane and is a rare example of the elegant Regency-style villas once popular in Manchester.
Thanks to a major £2.5m project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and others, the restored House is fully open to the public for the first time.
During the time Elizabeth lived here she wrote nearly all of her famous novels, including Cranford, Ruth, North and South and Wives and Daughters. She also wrote the biography of her friend Charlotte Brontë, plus many lively letters.
Notable visitors to the House included fellow writers Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, John Ruskin, the American abolitionist and novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe and musician Charles Hallé.
William and his two unmarried daughters, Meta and Julia, continued to live in the house after Elizabeth’s death in 1865. When Meta died in 1913 the house and its contents were sold.
Visitors to the house can find out about Elizabeth and William’s work, explore the lives of their daughters and servants and discover the Manchester that the Gaskells knew.