Inner Hall and Staircase

Instead, the house became famous for their dinner parties and ‘at homes’ to which both friends and visitors to Manchester were invited. The Manchester Guardian described the house as ‘a place of light and warmth for the hearts and minds’ of their guests. The sisters’ drawing room was ‘the nearest possible approach to an absolute centre of the social life of educated Manchester, and it is scarcely possible to imagine any other house holding so unique a place in that life again’.


In detail

Meta Gaskell

Julia Gaskell


The sisters returned from holidays in Europe with souvenirs and artworks, some of which they gave to cultural organisations. The ‘Della Robbia’ terracotta sculpture went to the new Whitworth Institute and Park in 1898. Meta’s collection of Dürer prints were hung on the walls at home. These pieces are now reunited on the walls of the staircase.