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The Under Housemaid

The Gardener

In 1871, the gardener was Charles Phillips, who lived in his own house in the grounds of Shibden with his wife Ellen. He was aged 60 and had been brought to Shibden from the Isle of Wight, where he had been the gardener at Dr John Lister’s home. He also had an assistant, George Whittle, who was aged 17, and lived with the other servants at Shibden Hall.


Narrow tunnel with brick walls on either side.
Gardener's Tunnel at Shibden Hall, Halifax

Following on from the work carried out by his ancestor, Anne Lister, in the grounds of Shibden Hall, Dr John Lister employed a designer to carry out work in the gardens. This included creating a beautiful paisley shawl garden in front of the hall and adding an ornamental lily pond.

Shibden Hall, Halifax showing lily pond in the foreground and the glass orchid house
Shibden Hall, Halifax Showing Lily Pond and Orchid House


Black and white photo of trees and rocks and the side of a stream.  Two boys can be seen sitting on a large rock.
The Wilderness - Shibden Hall, Halifax

The gardener at Shibden would not only have worked in the flower gardens, however. They would also have worked in the Kitchen garden to provide food for the household. The Kitchen garden at Shibden was in Cunnery Wood, close to the hall.

Pencil drawing of the pond and surrounding land, with the pond shaded in in blue pencil
Plan of Lily Pond, Shibden Hall c.1855