Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate

The rainbow plaques seen sprinkled so far across the tour’s image collection were an ephemeral initiative. A permanent version of these plaques was commissioned to go up in 2018, and community consultation settled on the venue in which Anne Lister famously solemnised her union with Ann Walker at Holy Trinity Church in 1834.

The event was recorded by Lister in her diary: 

 

“Their marriage did seem reasonably settled for both Anne and Ann. They would each rewrite their wills, leaving the other woman a life interest in their own estate. And by 12 February the betrothal seemed agreed: ‘She is to give me a ring & I her one, in token of our union as confirmed on Monday.’“

 

“At Goodramgate church at 10.35; Miss W- and I and Thomas staid [for] the sacrament… The first time I ever joined Miss W- – in my prayers – I had prayed that our union might be happy – she had not thought of doing as much for me.” 

A reworded version of the plaque to feature the word “Lesbian” went up in 2019 after some controversy over the original naming her “gender-nonconforming.” Though it is always difficult to attribute queer identities to people in the past who did not have the same words to describe themselves, language here is important to identify Anne Lister as having been a woman who had relationships exclusively with other women.

It is also the first heritage plaque in the UK to feature a rainbow border.