Shibden Hall is a splendid half-timbered manor house set in a landscaped park.
The name Shibden means 'valley of the sheep' and the timber-framed house at the centre of the present building was probably built by a member of the Otes family, who farmed sheep here in the 15th century.
At that time the wool industry was beginning to assume great importance in the steep Penine valleys around Halifax.
In the 16th century the estate passed to the Waterhouse family who built a stone extension at the rear of the house in 1590.
The most important alterations to the house, however, occurred between 1836 and 1855 during and after the ownership of Anne Lister, a descendant of a cloth merchant who had acquired the property in the 17th century.
Anne Lister had great enthusiasm for the 'Old English taste' and commissioned the York architect John Harper, to work on the house.
The 15th century facade was restored and the mullioned windows reinstated, the ceiling was removed from the hall and a new, more impressive staircase built.
The house was also extended by the construction of a tower at the west end and a service wing to the east. The early-Victorian work was completed by the creation of formal gardens around the house.
Before beginning work on the interiors John Harper made a study of local 17th century interiors and as a result the rooms at Shibden Hall are uniform and convincing.
They provide a perfect backdrop for the contents accumulated by the Lister family over the years.
In 1933 the house was presented to Halifax Corporation by Anne Lister's cousin, John, an antiquarian and pioneer of the Independent Labour Party.
Today Shibden Hall is well-maintained and superbly presented by the local authority and, although there are no major works of art, the house has good oak furniture and the items on display give a insight into the changing lifestyles and tastes of the local gentry over the years.
Shibden Hall is set in formal gardens and surrounded by parkland.
At the rear of the house is a late-17th century aisled stone barn and adjoining farm buildings which have been converted into a splendid folk museum with many interesting objects including carriages on view.