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Halifax Minster

Located in the heart of Halifax, Halifax Minster is a handsome 15th Century Grade 1 listed Parish Church; a site of major historical importance, a place of worship, prayer, of civic engagement, education and culture; with a year-round programme of events for you to enjoy.

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Information on Halifax Minster

Attraction type:
  • Culture & Heritage
  • Disabled Access
  • Family
  • Historic Sites & Trails

The church of St John the Baptist Halifax was given its Minster status in 2009 in recognition of its important role in the civic life of the town and borough.

Halifax Minster was the spiritual home of Anne ‘Gentleman Jack’ Lister, who was baptised, worshipped and buried here. Her tombstone is on display inside the Minster.

Visit Halifax Minster to enjoy a tour of the beautiful and historic interior of the building, the beautiful stained glass and painted wooden ceiling panels. Look out for the mice carved into the Thompson chairs in the Wellington Chapel!

Children can enjoy Halifax Minster too. When you arrive with the kids you have free use of a backpack containing a short guide around the Minster, an eye-spy guide to the 16 stained-glass windows, paper, pencils and crayons to make drawings of all the interesting things you’ll find and a torch to help you find them!

Enjoy organ recitals and other events and performances throughout the year.

Entrance to Halifax Minster is FREE, with donations welcome to help us maintain and preserve this beautiful building for future generations to enjoy.


Anne Lister & Halifax Minster

Anne Lister, along with generations of her family, worshipped at Halifax Parish Church (which was granted Minster status in November 2009) and Anne was baptised there. There are admiring comments about the high altar rail in her diaries and Anne so admired it that she modelled the staircase and gallery at Shibden Hall on it. Anne had a close relationship with the then Vicar Charles Musgrave and regularly visited him and his wife.

After her untimely death aged 49 from fever whilst travelling in Russia in 1840, Anne’s body was returned by Ann Walker, arriving back in Halifax on 24th April 1841.

Anne’s body was interred on 29th April 1841. Entries in Anne’s diaries, describing the burials of her Uncle, Father and Aunt describe the Lister Family vault as being located thus;

“Our burying place is in the south chapel, at the west end, next to the constable’s pew.”

From this it may be deduced that the Lister Family vault was at the west end of the Holdsworth Chapel, adjacent to the screen. Records at Wakefield prove that the Constable’s pew in Halifax Parish Church at that time was to the rear of the pews on the south of the south aisle of the nave. There is no sign of a vault there today; the area is covered with floorboards, probably dating from 1879.

However some doubt may be cast on this by John Lister of Shibden Hall (1847-1933), first president of Halifax Antiquarian Society, who recorded that, in his youth, Anne’s stone was “in the north aisle.”

During the Millennium restoration of Halifax Parish Church (as it then was) Anne’s broken, incomplete tombstone was rediscovered under wooden flooring in the north east corner of the church, having been lost since 1878/9.

Whilst it is not certain that Anne was buried where the stone was found, it’s possible that she was buried in a new grave, away from the Lister Family vault.

At the time of writing, the surviving pieces of Anne’s tombstone are displayed on a windowsill on the north side of the nave in Halifax Minster.


Accessibility Information:

  • Halifax Minster has a toilet with disabled access.
  • There is wheelchair access to the majority of the building.