If you watched Gentleman Jack, which aired on BBC1 on Sunday evenings, this striking manor house will be familiar. Shibden Hall, which dates back to 1420, was home to Anne Lister (1791-1840) whose controversial life was played out in series one and two.
The hall was the home to several families for over 500 years before going into council ownership as a result of the last owner being declared bankrupt. The hall opened as a museum in 1934, with its adjoining 32 hectares of parkland retained for the public to enjoy.
I recently had the good fortune to visit Shibden Hall, which was fascinating. After exploring the house and the extensive number of outbuildings, I visited the museum shop and café, where I found Shibden Valley Gin, which has been created by the owners of Speight’s Gin working closely with the custodians of the hall.
Speight’s Gin, which is based a few miles from Shibden, has created a range of five Shibden Valley gins, which are all available to buy in the gift shop and online. They were also commissioned to create special edition Anne Lister birthday celebration bottles, which can also be purchased on their website.
The distillery was established in 2019 and their first gin was Speight’s Signature Gin, which the owners had developed over an 18-month period experimenting with dozens of botanical combinations before they were satisfied with the end result. Speight’s Signature Gin was very well received by the trade and consumers, alike, and during 2020 the company won several awards.
Building on the success of their Signature Gin, they turned their attention to fruit gins, following requests for a rhubarb gin. Their head distiller got busy and having successfully produced a rhubarb gin he went on to create gins infused with bilberry and huckleberry, and the most recent addition was their pear gin.
We have yet to sample the range of Speight’s fine gins, but we can wholeheartdly recommend a visit to the hall.
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