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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 August 2006, 05:49 GMT 06:49 UK
Emergency aid for literary shrine
The Manchester home of Elizabeth Gaskell
The house needs urgent repairs
One of the nation's literary shrines has been handed a grant from English Heritage for emergency repairs.

The former Manchester home of 19th century novelist Elizabeth Gaskell - 84 Plymouth Grove - is crumbling away.

The writer of such works as North and South, Mary Barton and Wives and Daughters lived in the detached Regency Villa from 1850 to 1865.

Charles Dickens, William Makepiece Thackery and Charlotte Bronte are known to have stayed at the house.

The Grade II-listed building, built in the 1830s, is described by heritage groups as second only in importance to the Bronte Parsonage at Haworth in Yorkshire.

It is also one of the few surviving buildings of its type in Manchester.

The property is owned by the Manchester Historic Buildings Trust, which is trying to save and restore it.


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