The Gaskell Society
Portrait of Elizabeth Gaskell 1832

About the Society
September 29th, 1985, the 175th Anniversary of Elizabeth Gaskell's birth was commemorated in Knutsford, Cheshire, by a literary lunch and other events which led to the formation of the Gaskell Society (Registered Charity No 1098017).

Although the Society has no building as headquarters, its centre is Knutsford, with its many Gaskell associations, as Cranford and Hollingford in Wives and Daughters. Here she spent a happy childhood, was married at the Parish Church and is buried in the three-hundred-year-old Brook Street Chapel's graveyard, with her husband William. Her two unmarried daughters and a number of her ancestors are also buried there.

The Society hold its AGM in Manchester in March. The Society also holds a special Autumn meeting in September in Knutsford.

Aims of the Society
The Society's objects are to promote and encourage the study and appreciation of the work and life of Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (1810-1865).

To record sources of information about the work of Elizabeth Gaskell and any other material relating to her life, family, work and memory.

To foster and stimulate an understanding of her work and life by other means.

To arrange visits to places associated with her or her books.

To encourage republication of her work.

To promote and support special projects relating to her life and work at suitable times.

To co-operate with other societies having an interest in Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell and her times.

Gaskell Discussion Group
Is an e-mail discussion list to connect society members and anyone interested in the life and works of Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865). Those of you interested in related fields - for example, Dickens, the Brontës, industrial novels, Victorian family issues, are invited to join this list and contribute your notices, inquiries and information.

How to subscribe to the Gaskell discussion group

On the Internet, go to
Scroll down through the lengthy list of lists to "gaskell-l" and click
on that name. Then follow the simple instructions to subscribe.

General queries can be sent to Mary H. Kuhlman, Dept of English, Creighton University, Omaha NE 68178, USA.

The Gaskell House
The Society is also very pleased to be connected with 84 Plymouth Grove in Manchester, the home of the Gaskells from 1850 until Meta Gaskell's death in 1913. It was there that Elizabeth wrote most of her novels, met many celebrated personalities and enjoyed such an interesting life with her family. The house is now closed , following the award of £1.85m towards the restoration. The official re-opening will take place in October 2014. Watch this space for further details.

The Friends of Plymouth Grove are a charitable organisation, who, in order to raise funds to preserve and restore this famous house, host a number of fascinating events, open to both members and public alike.  While the house is closed events will take place at other venues. Arrangements have yet to be finalised but will appear on the "Events" page.

Further information from
Janet Allan
10 Dale Road, New Mills, High Peak, Derbyshire SK22 4NW
Telephone/fax 01663 742809

Latest News & Events

The Society is organising two study tours this year, one at home and one abroad!

May 20-22 A Study Tour of Worcester, taking in places associated with Marianne and her family, who moved to the area following her husband Thurstan's death.

September 20-25 A Study tour to Italy,
In the Footsteps of Mrs Gaskell: From Rome to Siena,
based in Assisi and visiting the green heart of Italy visited by Mrs Gaskell in 1857

For more details of these tours go to the Study Tour section of the Events page.

The Gaskell Society
See Meetings & Events for further forthcoming events.

Poets' Corner - Westminster Abbey
In 2010 , the bicentenary of her birth, Elizabeth Gaskell was finally given the recognition she deserves when a window panel was dedicated to her, in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey. After the service, conducted by The Very Reverend John Hall, Dean of Westminster, Sarah Prince, Elizabeth Gaskell's great-great-great-granddaughter laid a wreath of lilies beneath the window. 

Brook Street Unitarian Chapel

The Chapel
Is being promoted in a regional tourist campaign. Brook St Chapel has a fascinating history and is already something of a place of pilgrimage for fans of the novel Cranford and of Elizabeth Gaskell's other novels.

Brook Street has a dedicated website at

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Elzabeth Gaskell by William John Thomson, of Edinburgh, 1832
A sample of Gaskell's handwriting
A sample of Gaskell's handwriting
Gaskells birthplace
Gaskell's birthplace
The Gaskell Grave, Brook St Chapel, Knutsford
The Gaskell Grave,
Brook St Chapel, Knutsford
Inside brook St Chapel Knutsford
Image from "Cranford" BBC 2007
Inside brook St Chapel Knutsford
The Elizabeth Gaskell Window
Poets' Corner
Westminster Abbey

Please click on this link to Westminster Abbey to appreciate the significance of Poets' Corner and the magnificent Abbey itself.

For information on the BBC website
about the recent memorial window
Click here

Last updated 1/10/2014
for general enquiries click below
The Gaskell Society. Registered Charity No 1098017
The image of Elizabeth Gaskell by William John Thomson, of Edinburgh, 1832 is reproduced here by courtesy of the University Librarian and Director, The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester.

Some of the Manchester images reproduced on this site are courtesy of Manchester Central Library's Local Studies Unit.
For which we thank them. Click here to visit their collection.