Gentleman Jack



Did you watch the recent HBO/BBC series “Gentleman Jack?”  The trailers for Gentleman Jack were so intriguing it was impossible for me to ignore and not watch this 19th century tale based on a true story.  It’s a short series with only 8 episodes and now that it has ended, you can easily binge Gentleman Jack on a rainy Saturday.

NOTE:   I signed up for “HBO GO” so that I can watch HBO on my computer or phone while Ben is watching baseball.  HBO GO is a great way to binge a show by yourself without disturbing those in the house who aren’t interested in watching it!


There is also HBO NOW which is the same as HBO GO except you don’t have to be subscribed to HBO to watch HBO NOW.  Understand?  No?  Just ask you favorite millennium for help!

The star of Gentleman Jack, Suranne Jones

Based on the subject matter, I was surprised at how much  my husband Ben enjoyed Gentleman Jack – maybe as much as I did, although our interests in the story were for different reasons.  Suffice it to say, the historical houses, their interiors, the wardrobe - all sparked my enthusiasm for Gentleman Jack.  Ben, like me, enjoyed the historical setting and the seemingly accuracy of the script.

But mostly, we both thoroughly enjoyed the story - immensely so!!  The dialogue is snappy, funny and thoroughly engaging.  The acting is suburb.  The star of the series, English actress Suranne Jones, is a shoo-in for a Bafta award for Best Actor this year.  I had never heard of Suranne before, but she’s very well known in the UK.  Now, with this HBO series, her star power in the states is about to change.  She’s phenomenally talented.   The show would pale without her winks and grins directed straight to the viewer, via the camera.  She loves the camera and it certainly reciprocates that feeling.  When Suranne is in a scene, you can not take your eyes off her – she is electric and charismatic and  you find yourself wishing you knew someone just like the character she plays: 

Miss Anne Lister of Shibden Hall, Halifax, England.

And there she is – Anne Lister, driving her own carriage, something a woman just did not do in the 19th century.

In case you haven’t watched Gentleman Jack, here’s a short summary.  The heroine, Miss Anne Lister ( 1791-1840) was a world traveler, a successful businesswoman in a man’s world, a self taught doctor, a diarist, and a coal pit owner.  But, it is only because of her private diary, which she wrote in every day starting at the age of 15 until her death in 1840, that we even know anything at all about Miss Anne Lister.  Her diary totals 4 million words and it was from these volumes that much of the dialogue and plot of Gentleman Jack was derived. 

A photograph of Anne’s actual diary – one volume. One sixth of her diary is written in a secret code that the teenaged Lister invented.

The production team recreated the diary for the series – with its thick paper and densely written words.

It’s almost impossible to read the diaries, whether written in English or her own devised secret code.  To save precious, rare, and expensive paper, words are written in tiny script, abbreviated at every turn.   The secret code devised by Lister and her friend is a mix of the Greek alphabet, zodiac, punctuation and mathematical symbols.  The code was used whenever Anne would write about her private personal life, I.e. her sex life. 

These passages were never meant to be read by anyone, but in the early 1900s, her cousin, John Lister,  found the diaries hidden in a panel in her former bedroom at Shibden Hall, which he then owned.  With a researcher friend, he and John took months to try to break the code - which they finally did.


Anne’s secret code, broken down.

John Lister felt these secret parts of Anne’s diary were so shocking that he almost burned all the volumes.  Instead, he put them back in their hiding place where they remained undetected for decades after the Grade II listed house was given to the government following his death in 1933.   It was in the 1980s that the diaries were discovered once again and this time, their importance was recognized immediately.          

An early photograph of Shibden Hall, home of Anne Lister and the Lister family.

For years, historians labored over the diaries once the secret was discovered:  Anne Lister was a lesbian.  Today she is considered the “First Modern Lesbian.”  There is a plaque in the church where she “married” “without legal recognition” her companion,  Ann Walker.

Their “wedding” took place at the Holy Trinity Church in York.


Gentleman Jack takes place during a short timeframe in            Anne Lister’s life – from when she returns home from her travels, meets Ann Walker, courts her, and they marry. 

Her earlier life is not told in Gentleman Jack.  Anne was a rambunctious tomboy and sent away at age 7 to boarding school.   She was isolated alone in the attic to keep her from influencing the other students.  Later, an illegitimate, half Indian, half English girl, Eliza Raine, came to stay in the attic with Ann, where they became inseparable.  Eliza helped write the secret code so that the girls could write about each other in their own diaries without anyone understanding the underlying meanings.

The Manor School – where Anne was shuttled off to the attic.

Anne was later sent home and not allowed to go back to school until Eliza was herself gone.  Later, Eliza suffered from depression and mental illness and was taken to an asylum where she sadly spent the rest of her life.

I’m wondering if the new Gentleman Jack, Series II,will concentrate on Anne’s early life and her life before what we see in Series I?

Anne Lister in a portrait found in her home, Shibden Hall.   Not QUITE as beautiful as Suranne, the actress who plays her!!

Lister is painted wearing her trademark black, always, along with her hair in tight curls, as was the fashion.


Here is Anne hanging in a gilt frame in Shibden Hall.  She looks much prettier here but that might be just the work of the artist.

None of the paintings capture that “in your face” energetic magnetism that Suranne portrayed as Lister.

The museum curator shows off yet another portrait of  Anne Lister inside Shibden Hall.

The beginning – a carriage topples over a dry creek bed near Shibden Hall, injuring a young boy.  This carriage scene is replayed over and over as people come and go to Shibden.  The carriage becomes a metaphor for the restless life Anne Lister lives.As the series continues, you realize that besides the acting, the script is wonderful - funny and witty - yet filled with deep emotions and a genuine sadness for a woman born in an era where she could not be true to her self without inviting gossip and disdain.  Watching the series and knowing it is taken directly from Anne Lister’s own words in her diary, it is sad to see how her life played out because she had so much to offer the world, if only the world would accept her. 

Shibden Hall

In another era, Anne Lister would have been a surgeon or politician or a scholar.  Instead she lived within the constraints of polite society.   She does try to bust out and succeeds on so many levels.  Told that a woman can’t do something only spurs Anne on to prove she can!! 

Anne Lister is perhaps one of the most famous gay woman, certainly of her time.  She acted more like a man than a woman and after her first serious lover, Marianna, leaves her to marry an older man, the devastated Anne goes into mourning, wearing only black for the remainder of her life. 

Ideas for Lister’s outfits drawn for the show – these are taken from real life samples.  A cross between a man’s suit and a woman’s, Lister chose to accessorize her clothing with a top hat like the men of her time did.

In the movie, Lister uses her skinny, lethal looking walking stick more as a prop than something actually purposeful.

Her hat is often pushed off her forehead at a jaunty angle, thanks to the ever visible walking stick.

Anne also uses her walking stick as a weapon.  Watch out!!

When not using her walking stick as an accessory, her pocket watch takes its place.  Lister is continually glancing at it, fiddling with, and using it a’s a means of saying “goodbye,  you are now dismissed.  So long!”  The sound of her watch being snapped closed is the same as a door slamming in your face.  Her gold dinner bell is utilized when the watch cue is ignored. 

Anne’s ever present pocket watch, snapping it open and shut.

In the end, Anne wants what we all want -  love, stability and a life partner,  and she got it all.

Gentleman Jack aka Anne Lister and her neighbor, the wealthy, sickly and much younger Ann Walker (Sophie Rundle) – these two are the stars of the series.

Suranne is so good as Anne that I had to look her up on google to see if she herself was indeed a lesbian. How typical I would fall into that trap.



And again,  Anne Lister with Ann Walker, the young, wealthy, heiress.     


One very interesting aspect of Gentleman Jack concerning these two women is that the couple took holy communion together and lived as a married couple, showing a bravery to be true to themselves at all costs.  It wasn’t easy for them, and the couple suffered  for this honesty.  Their neighbors made fun of them and harassed them through ads in the paper – congratulations, from what would be called trolls today,  were meanly addressed to the new couple as“Captain Tom Lister of Shibden Hall to Miss Ann Walker.”   Nothing, though, would stop then spending their life together at shabby Shibden.

Anne with her beloved aunt Anne, another talented, comedic actress. 

I can’t recommend the movie enough, but with a caveat.  There are a few simulated love scenes which barely last half a minute if that.  I don’t remember any nudity at all.  But there are more than a few fleeting kissing scenes.

At first, my attention was drawn to all the film locations, the houses, the antiques, the furniture.  So, let’s look at the filming locations, which besides Suranne’s acting, are wonderful.


Most filming takes place where Anne Lister actually lived at Fairfax in northern England.  The filming takes place in York with the large red arrow marking where Shibden Hall still stands today after 600 years!  Anne also goes to Copenhagen where additional filming is done .But the majority of filming takes place in the actual house where Anne Lister once lived.

A closer view of Shibden Hall and Gardens.


An original painting of Anne Lister’s aunt, also Anne Lister, hanging in Shibden Hall.    The elder, childless, and widowed     sAnne Lister owned Shibden Hall, but she left the estate’s assets to her niece, years before she died.  This inheritance brought much wealth to the younger Anne through its rents and its coal production.  Her wealth allowed her to travel throughout Europe.

The original portrait of Jeremy Lister, Anne’s father and the brother of Anne’s aunt, Anne.  Too many Annes!  This also is hanging in Shibden Hall, today.

The Listers from the TV series photographed at the real Shibden Hall’s drawing room.

On the HBO Series - Anne’s family provides much of the comic relief, but it is very subtle.  I didn’t pick up on a lot of the humor in my first viewing.  It took me a second and third viewing (watching the series again and again while writing this story) to realize how much comedy came from Anne’s elderly aunt, father and sister.

If you saw the show, I highly recommend a second viewing!  I picked up on some much of the comedic nuance that I missed!

The secondary characters add so much – for instance, Anne’s father, her poor father.  Anne just exasperates him to no end with her escapades like mortgaging Shibden Hall for their failing coal business.  It’s one rolled eye after another.  Or he’s fast asleep in the sitting room.  This actor is so comical in the dad’s role.  Anne’s younger sister is rather mousey next to the exuberant Anne who bosses her around and mostly ignores her.  The faces her sister makes behind Anne’s back are priceless and something everyone can relate to.

But no one matches her aunt Anne for comedic relief!!!  That face!!  Those eyes!!!   Her aunt has just learned that Anne has surprised them all and returned home early!!  Her aunt is so excited she might have a heart attack.  Having Anne at home is better than having Smart TV with 51 channels.  Anne provides all the entertainment in Shibden Hall.

  Here Anne meets with a guest while her nosey sister is trying to listen in in the background. 

The house revolves around Anne, as if she is the sun and all else is the universe.  When Anne is gone, the house is in dark eclipse.

Shibden Hall, a romanticized drawing.

Factoid:  It is believed that Emily Bronte used Shibden Hall as a model for the manor house in Wuthering Heights, as the Brontes lived close to the Listers in York. 

The most amazing fact about the series Gentleman Jack is that the actual Shibden Hall was used during filming.

How often has this happened?  Never that I can think of.

It would be as if a movie about George Washington was filmed inside Mount Vernon.

Shibden Hall was built in 1492 and by the time our Anne is involved – it is rather shabby, which distresses the snobby Anne to no end.   She launches into a speech about the Lister family and how far back their lineage is and how they deserve to live in a house that showcases their importance, all while her father rolls his eyes. 

Later, her father explains that Anne’s family history isn’t really accurate -  the Lister family were nothing better than rug manufacturers.

BUT, someone far more important than laborers built that beautiful Hall in the middle ages.

Shibden Hall has Medieval stained glass windows, but is recognized as a Tudor building with its heavy woods, dark rooms, and low ceilings.  By contrast, Lister’s lover Ann Walker’s house is relatively new, being only 30 years old when our story takes place.  It is Georgian - the classic, gracious style of its time.  Ann’s house Crow Nest has large rooms and high ceilings and is nothing like the Lister’s Shibden Hall.  

Shibden Hall in summer,  with blooming plants in its paisley garden.

First let’s look at Shibden Hall, which today is a museum and then we’ll look at Sutton Park that plays the part of Ann Walker’s house Crow Nest, which has been torn down.


Shibden Hall with its landscaped flowers designed by Anne.

Shibden Hall – the tower on the left is “newer.”  It was designed by Anne Lister to be her personal library, but she died in Russia while it was being finished, never seeing it completed.

In addition to the interiors, the exteriors of Shibden Hall were filmed at the actual house.  However, the grounds were too manicured to reflect how the house really klooked in the early 19th century.  For the series, the grass was not cut in an attempt to make the house look shabbier than it really is today.

Aerial View – in front is the paisley garden designed by Anne.  

  At the time of the story, Gentlemen Jack, Shibden Hall had been in the family for over 200 years and Anne wanted it to be far more grand.   There’s a wonderful scene where she tells her father and aunt about her plans for the house that she feels is far too important to be just another run-down farm.

Despite all her brilliance and ability to see right from wrong, Anne Lister was a terrible snob.  She sought friends from the classes above hers.  And she was always seeking lovers who were wealthier than she and would be able to fund her travels and lifestyle better than she could herself.

Lister’s first attraction for the young sweet Ann Walker was definitely her large bank account, but that slowly faded as she grew to love the quiet, but sad, girl.

 After Anne “marries” the wealthy Ann Walker, Ann moves from her newly built Georgian estate to Lister’s centuries old Shibden Hall.   Horse drawn carts filled with Walker’s possessions went back and forth between the two houses until Ann was finally settled into Shibden Hall, for life – or so they both thought.

A word about their marriage.  The couple went to church and received the holy sacraments together.   This was very important to Lister and something she insisted upon if they were to blend their lives together and consider themselves a couple.  But there were no vows, and it was not a marriage according to law. 


  After their ceremony at church, Ann Walker informed her family of her address change and one can assume they weren’t thrilled about her spending her money on Shibden Hall and not Crow Nest.    As was planned, Walker’s money was used to build Shibden’s new park and the ornamental lake, along with the terrace and its Paisley shawl design.  A tunnel was dug for the household help so that they could move around without disturbing Anne.   The biggest expense was the tall, three story tower that was to be Anne’s library.  She never saw it completed as she died before it was finished.


About 80 years later, the Lister family gave the property away.   After renovation, it was reopened as a museum by the Prince of Wales.

The back entry into Shibden Hall.   The living room and dining room looked over this courtyard and her aunt Anne would start screaming for joy when Lister’s carriage appeared through the windows.

The sitting room.

Anne’s sister in the sitting room, sewing, while her wooly dog keeps her company.

The dining room with Anne’s much ignored younger sister and her suitor whom Anne refused to meet.  He’s a carpet manufacturer!!!!  She’s a Lister!!!!!

The dining room waiting for Anne, no doubt.

Breakfast with the Listers and their pretty blue and white dishes. Both the dining room and sitting room are right off the main drawing with its two story ceiling.   The main staircase is located here, although in reality – it wasn’t added until after the main renovation done by Lister and Walker was completed.

The drawing room – I love how Lister uses the ledge as a lounge and a desk.

Using the drawing room as her office.

Parts of the Shibden Hall kitchen were reworked for the film.



Two photographs of the great Tudor Hall at Shibden Hall.  Anne’s father’s portrait hangs high up on the wall to the right, Anne’s is in the middle and her aunt’s is at the far left.

The stairs with the wood sculptures.

A painting of the main room at Shibden Hall.


An older postcard from the Shibden Hall museum.


The bedroom upstairs.

Not all scenes set in Shibden were actually filmed there, but were built on a studio set.  Lister’s red bedroom was just too small for the camera crew, camera, and the actors and so another one was built. 



The bedroom.

Anne Lister  and her French maid, on her soundstage bedroom. 



Across from the back courtyard are the stables, now a showcase for all the Lister carriages. 


The hidden Moss House or Chaumiere was built by Anne Lister as a place where Ann Walker and she could talk in private.


It is furnished in the country French style, probably due to Anne Lister having just returned from France.



   The only known photo of Ann Walker.  Let’s just say that she was having a bad hair day.

The series Gentleman Jack revolves around a small portion of time during Anne Lister’s life:   the years that she meets Ann Walker, courts her, and takes the holy sacrament with her.   All the years before and after are only hinted at.

Ann Walker and her sister Elizabeth were the wealthy heiresses of their parents estate which included two grand houses.   Ann lived alone at Crow Nest, while an aunt lived at their other mansion.   Elizabeth lived in Scotland with her Scottish husband who was only interested in their inheritance and was the lifetime nemesis of both girls. 

Crow Nest – before it was demolished.

While production of Gentleman Jack was so lucky to be able to film in the original Shibden Hall, the same can’t be said for Crow Nest, which had been demolished.    The Walker family house is too interesting to ignore, so…

Here’s a small introduction:

Crow Nest was first built in 1590s, and later rebuilt in 1775, making it brand new during the days Ann and Anne were friends.  Crow Nest was a tremendously different type of house than Shibden Hall.  It was built of timber bought in Russia, which was shipped from the Baltic.   There was nothing Gothic or Medieval about it – at all.

Ann Walker

With her large inheritance, Ann was a very desirable single woman, except she was not interested in marrying any of the eligible bachelors.  It wasn’t until Walker met Anne Lister that she realized the reason why men did not hold any interest to her. 

Ann was the polar opposite of the outgoing and energetic Lister.  Ann was shy and withdrawn and often depressed.  Much of her life was spent in bed with her sadness and bad back.  She also suffered from “religious mania.”  Lister made a daily schedule for Ann which included French studies, drawing lessons and walks.  Anne Lister’s previous amour Marianna Lawton’s brother was the famous Dr. Henry Belcombe who saw Ann as a patient.  She also was a patient in his private asylum.  AND, it was at this asylum that the poor Eliza Raine spent her life. 

When Ann was feeling well she would visit her aunt who lived in the old Walker house Cliff Hill and she started a local school.

Scholars who studied the Lister diaries do not think the Anne/Ann relationship was a happy one.  Lister wrote often how tired she was of Ann’s behavior, although she was patient with her. Lister complained about having to run the household and the estate business while Ann did nothing, although it must have been somewhat comforting because the two stayed together till death.

Despite suffering from both depression and anorexia Ann was strong willed.  For years she rejected Anne’s pleas about being put in Walker’s will. That changed during their final trip to Russia.   While there, Ann connected her accounts to Lister’s.  Lister was probably more interested in Ann’s money and her estate rather than vice versa. 

Lister died on that trip after an insect bite and subsequent fevers.  Her diary went blank for the final six weeks.  It took months for Ann to bring back Lister’s coffin back to Shibden.  Being alone at Shibden drove Ann to madness.  She was barricaded in the Red Bedroom when the police came to send her to the asylum for treatment.  The police found her room filled with trash with a cache of loaded guns on the table.   There were bloody napkins strewn around which may indicate Ann suffered from tuberculosis – her sister Elizabeth had died of the disease in  1844.

Romantic drawing of Crow Nest showing the back side. 

Ann’s later years without Lister seems terribly sad and lonely.  She left the asylum and moved back to the older Walker home  Cliff Hill at Lightcliffe where she died in 1854 at 50 years of age.  She still had ownership of Shibden Hall and lived off the rents as promised by Anne’s hard fought for will.  The rightful Lister heirs were not too pleased with the new will agreement.  Once Ann died, the Listers from Swansea reclaimed Shibden Hall which they held until the 1930s.  All the Walker estates and properties were left to Ann’s sister Elizabeth’s son Evan – as long as he hyphenated Walker to Sutherland.  He later dropped that name in 1867.

This should have been the last of Anne Lister and Ann Walker.  Why would anyone ever hear about these two people from  a tiny town in York?  If not for her distant cousin accidently finding her hidden diaries in a wall panel, Lister and Walker would have remained unknown. 

Instead, Anne Lister is considered the First Modern Lesbian.   

The house known as Crow Nest in Gentleman Jack was demolished to make room for a golf range.  Out buildings can still be seen off the fairways. 

One last photograph of Crow Nest.

Anne loved the outdoors.  She also loved to climb mountains and there is even a range in the Pyrenees that was named after her when she was the first to reach its peak. 

Since Crow Nest was demolished, the scenes were filmed at Sutton Place, seen here with its magnificent lawn – notice how it is cut, high and low, which makes it look like a striped pattern.


Grade I Listed Sutton Park is a Georgian house located just 8 miles to the north of York.  It was built in the 18th century and today Sir Reginald Sheffield and his wife, Lady Sheffield, live there.  They bought Sutton Park in 1963 and when they moved in they brought their art collection, much of which came from Buckingham House, once owned by the family, and which is today known of course as Buckingham Palace!!

Here’s a bit of royal trivial.  The paneling and mantle from the library came from the morning room of Potternewton Hall, near Leeds.   Where?????

Potternewton Hall was the estate of Olive Middleton.  Middleton?


No, but she IS the great-grandmother of Kate’s


Former Minister David Cameron’s wife Samantha is the daughter of Reginald Sheffield who owns Sutton Park.  The Sheffields later divorced and remarried, and Samantha’s mother is now Lady Astor who owns OKA, the English fabulous home decor shop. 

You can visit Sutton Park, rent it for weddings and parties HERE.

The gorgeous entry hall.  Love!!!   This entry hall is shown multiple times as Anne Lister comes over to visit Ann many times.  Beautiful floor and door!!  In the movie, the console on the right is removed as is this runner.

Here Anne Lister comes to call – she always throws her hat, cane and gloves at the butler, who has to catch it all.

And the sweet and docile Ann Walker.

The butler brings packages to the drawing room for Ann from a male suitor!  Suffice to say, Miss Lister is not too pleased about a male suitor!!!

As it is in real life  - the carpet is not my favorite.  They removed it for filming.

Notice the rugs are different in the entry too.

The Drawing Room as it is on The Sutton web site.   The hand painted paper is now over 200 years old.   The couches and curtains were not used in the movie.  But, they kept much of the antiques – like the mirrors and chandeliers.


The view towards the back of the room with its huge chandelier.

Notice how the wall paper doesn’t reach the top of the wall so it looks like it was painted to finish it off. 

Here is how the room looked in the movie – the curtains are different, as is the French furniture.

Anne in front of one of the beautiful sofas.

In the series:  The wood desk is gone but the clock remained.

I like the room so much more with the antique furniture!!  Much better!!

I also prefer this rug than what is there usually.

Filming the series!

The Small Drawing Room.

The Sheffields have mixed antiques with modern art.  The furnishings could use a bit of an update, but in England, they just don’t update like we do here. 

Gentleman Jack:  The modern upholstery and art was moved out to make way for only antiques.  The velvet pink gilt chairs remained.  This room leads into the Large Drawing Room.


The mantel in this room is so beautiful, as is the firebox.


Beautiful scene in another room.

The same room with the most gorgeous mantel – ever!

TODAY:  The dining room at Sutton Park with its modern art work and lamps. 

The art work and chairs were changed out for the series.

The master bedroom where Ann Walker sleeps.  It has a four poster bed and green wallpaper.



Arches flank the marble fireplace.  Molding on the bottom half of the walls is not seen in the official website for Sutton Park.



Today:  But on the Sutton Park website, the paper is very different.  I prefer this paper over the newer version.   The wall to wall carpet was removed for the filming.  All new bedding.

Sutton Park is very beautiful in the series, its architecture is so pretty.  The foyer is my favorite.  But, for today – it needs a bit of an update.

Regarding the location scouts who worked on Gentleman Jack,   there are many, many scenes that take place in the houses of Ann’s and Anne’s relatives and friends.  The location scouts found a number of the houses in the correct neighborhood and of the correct time frame.  Some of the houses are identified where the filming took place, but not all and I drove myself CRAZY trying to match houses with the scenes.

I didn’t worry about office scenes or the huts where her tenants live or the coal pits.   Just showing the majority of the houses was the most interesting.

The Priestley’s

Ann Walker is one in a large important family in Yorkshire.  The clan is forever fussing after Ann and her money, worrying she will give it away to someone unworthy or she will be swindled out of her fortune.  Not emphasized in the series, but it is in the diaries – Anne Lister and Ann’s aunt Eliza Priestley are the very best of friends.  Eliza’s a gossip and she spreads it over to the entire family when she catches the two kissing. She never had believed the rumors about Anne before. 


The Priestley house has a blue front door.

Inside, there is a blue wallpapered drawing room.

Anne comes to call to make it seem like Eliza did not see what she saw between Anne and Ann.

Their dining room is lilac!!!

I love the dining room, but her hat is beyond awful.

Another house in Yorkshire – this time to visit another member of the Walker tribe, another aunt.

Ann and Anne and Aunt gossip.

And then the Priestleys come to gossip.

It was a bit hard to keep up with all the aunts and their houses because they are mostly the same colors – deep blues and maroons and lots of curls and frilly bonnets.

I spent a week rewatching the episodes over and over trying to separate the houses and the owners and why can’t the production teams just put out a list of all the houses they rented!?!?!? There was a list, but it was partial and it drove me crazy trying to match up their list to the houses in the movie.

This was the house of Vere Cameron before she married – and I could NEVER match it up with its real location on an coast. 

But, after Vere marries and has a baby, we see her new house:

Filmed at Fairfox House in York HERE where Lister visits the woman who broke her heart along with her new baby, named Anne, after Anne Lister of course.

The master bedroom at Vere’s.

This scene at tea taken at a cousin’s house is perhaps one of the most satirical in the series.  The Ramsom’s elderly mother is quite a fan of Anne Lister’s, much to their chagrin. 

What a great character actor!  One of so many in the series.

The scene takes place in Broughton Hall Estate HERE.

TODAY:   The same room as above, decorated with cotton slipcovers.

Broughton Hall Estate – also located in Yorkshire.

Beside the Ramsom scenes, there are several scenes with Marianna Lawton that take place in the same house - Broughton Hall:

Marianna Lawton, seen above, plays a major character in Anne Lister’s life.  Marianna is supposed to be the girl that Anne marries and moves into Shibden Hall - instead of Ann Walker.  One hysterical scene takes place during a carriage ride where Marianna and Anne have a fight about how long Anne is supposed to wait for Marianna’s husband to die before they can move in together.

Here Marianna in the stairhall with its yellow walls hung with art work.

Today:  As it’s been redecorated.

Before:  How the stairhall was before.  Notice the domed ceiling.

And here, Marianna and the opposite view of the stair hall.

Marianna hard a work writing a letter to be sent to Anne.  It’s amazing watching the series how notes are sent back and forth in place of telephone calls.  Sealed, the footman waits while the note is opened and answered before he sets off on his way back home with the answered note in tow.   Of course, this is only for close neighbors.  Those who live farther away have to wait for a few days for a response.

At work in the Green Room.

The sealed note from Anne being read.

Today:   As it really looks,  the Green Room.

And there are more houses that Marianna lives in, owns, or rents. We see this house with matching couches and her boring as can be older husband.

Another set of rooms are rented at Bramham Park Estate HERE

The facade.

The beautiful staircase that Anne runs up and down.  That painting!!

Another view.

And from the series.

The red library, as it really is.

The red room was reworked to be a study in a hotel that Anne and Marianna stayed at.


Today – the bedroom as is.  Beautiful fabrics and furniture!  Love this!!!!!

Anne used that green bedroom as her own.  Love the color on the walls.


And here, before a dinner party, with help from her French maid Eugenie, Anne actually dresses up and looks so attractive and feminine that Marianna is speechless!

And then there are the Sutherlands, Ann Walker’s tortured sister who lives in Scotland. 

The scenes set in this house are beautiful.  It’s a lovely home!  Those windows!  Try as I might, I could not find what house this was filmed in.

Ann was sent off to her sister Elizabeth in Scotland.  Lots of babies and drama.  There’s a faux suicide attempt and once Ann knows Anne has written her, all she wants to do is go home.

But how?   She has no carriage.

Scottish decor looks a lot like the English decor, hmmm. 

Well, there is tartan fabric on the chairs!

The Walker tribe set up a kidnapping scheme and come get Ann away from Elizabeth’s money hungry husband.

It’s amazing to watch how little freedom women had over their lives!  The only reason Ann has ANY freedom is she has her own fortune.

Things change dramatically when Anne Lister goes to Copenhagen!!! 

Even with her carriage in tow!  See it hanging?

  The rooms, the houses, the decor – are all completely different than that found in England and Scotland.

The decor is so quiet and so wonderfully plain.  But, there was very little information about where they filmed – which is a shame if their rooms are available for let.

Her first hotel room has a PINK foyer with a red carpet.  To dye for.    Get it?  LOL

Love, love, love this!!!

Vere’s sister in law got her the rooms along with an introduction to the Queen!

Being such a snob, Anne was thrilled to be invited to her first “court” and worried whether it would be ok to go if she has never gone to court in her own country?

Of course!!!!

The other side of the bedroom with the gilt molding!  Oil portraits! 

A race through Copenhagen with its white and pastel buildings – notice the one pink facade where Anne attends a fancy dinner party.

Sigh.  Those trees!  That china cabinet!  The wood floor that everyone wants today.  And, in walks the tornado, Ms. Lister, to meet the Queen.

Except she curtsies to the wrong woman, not the Queen.

Of course she did!

The Queen didn’t mind obviously because she was invited to her birthday bash. 

BUT – the rules are, you can NOT wear anything but WHITE!!!!

And if you can’t dance with a man, grab the closest woman and dance rather clumsily with her round and round and round the ballroom.

Back in black and in a new Danish apartment with green walls and black furniture with gilt trim and a checked! cushion!!!

As usual, a letter brings bad news and off she goes yet again to shabby Shibden in Halifax.


Barely making it back home across the North Sea in the middle of winter, the carriage makes the crossing over the dry bed stream – yet again, just like in the opening scenes when the little boy falls over the carriage and has his leg amputated.


The carriage driven back and forth over this dry bed marks the passage of travel.  “Ms. Walker’s carriage was seen on the road” a breathless worker will scream to another worker who runs home with the news letting the family get somewhat ready.

And finally the sacraments taken in this actual church.  The same church they filmed in!

Notice the pews – they are boxes closed off.  Ben was fascinated by this.

The couple in their pew – this is church where the plaque is located.


Suranne Jones and Sophie Rundle – Anne and Ann

Hard to believe these are the same two actors without their costumes!    Right after Season I was finished,  HBO/BBC announced there would be a Season II of Gentleman Jack. 

Put it on my calendar please, I’ll be glued to the TV.