Where to learn about LGBTQ+ History in Calderdale

1st February marks the start of LGBT+ History Month – an annual celebration of the lives of LGBTQIA+ people in the past, present and future. You might already know that Calderdale is one of THE best LGBT+ friendly destinations (check out our blog post on this!), but did you know about all the different ways you can learn about LGBT+ history in the Borough? Read on to find out more…

  1. Visit Anne Lister’s Tomb at Halifax Minster

Dubbed as the ‘first modern lesbian’, Anne Lister worshipped in Halifax Parish Church, now the Minster, and both her baptism and funeral services were held in the church. Visitors to the Minster will find her tombstone displayed there – thought to be lost for many years but rediscovered during restoration work in the early 2000s.

  1. Walk the ‘Anne Lister Way’

Whilst you’re at the Halifax Minster, why not walk in this famous woman’s footsteps by taking the Anne Lister pilgrimage? It will take you to the high vistas overlooking some of the Halifax landmarks which Anne would have seen as she journeyed back and forth – vistas of the parish church; the Piece Hall; and Square Chapel, from high above the town.

  1. Take a trip to Shibden Hall

No visit to Halifax is complete without a trip to Shibden Hall and Estate – an iconic historic house dating back to 1420 and home of the Lister family for over 300 years, including of course Anne Lister. It even featured in ‘Britain’s Great Gay Buildings’! Shibden Hall reopens again on the 1st March 2024.

  1. Attend the Anne Lister Birthday Festival

The Anne Lister Birthday Festival takes place between the 1st and 8th April 2024. It includes walks, talks, tours and exhibitions celebrating all things Anne Lister. Check out the full festival programme and book your tickets here!

  1. Follow Divina De Campo and look out for upcoming events

In 2019, local drag artist Divina de Campo made Calderdale proud by appearing on the first season of Rupaul’s Drag Race UK, and coming second. Known for her high soprano and 4-octave range, Divina is now a well-known national name, although she hasn’t forgotten her Brighouse roots! Keep an eye on her social media for upcoming performances!

  1. Watch Gentleman Jack and visit the filming locations

Did you love Gentleman Jack as much as us? Then here’s your opportunity to enjoy it all over again… our Film Trail highlights some of the key locations for filming used in Series One, including the Lord Nelson Inn in Luddenden, and Ripponden, which was used for scenes set in Scotland.

  1. Visit our LGBT+ friendly towns

The very best way to learn about the lives and times of local people is to talk to them! Hop on the train to Hebden Bridge, the lesbian capital of the UK, chat to locals and visit queer spaces. Why not visit LGBTQIA+ staple ‘Nelsons Wine Bar’ in Hebden Bridge…or the Todmorden Women’s Disco at the Cricket Club – revellers travel from as far afield as Brighton and Portsmouth to experience this legendary party! Finally, don’t forget to come back for our gloriously inclusive events, including the Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival in May, and of course – Happy Valley Pride in July!