Monday, May 27, 2024

Tracing the Fascinating Bronte Sisters in Haworth, England

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The Bronte Sisters in Haworth, England

It’s a haunting panorama, the moors of West Yorkshire, England, the place the Bronte household lived, wrote and cherished. It is likely to be one thing within the water, but it surely’s inconceivable to go to Haworth, the Bronte village, and never change into a fan.

Listed below are one of the best methods to see it.

Bronte sisters Haworth Worth Valley

Go to the Bronte Parsonage

It was the desk that did it for me. The worn picket desk within the parlour of the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth, England, the place the Bronte household lived.

Pretty gleaming with literary ghosts and alive with the lingering whispers of elegantly-turned phrases, it introduced the Brontes to life.

Bronte Parsonage Museum table Haworth England
A desk with a previous


The Bronte Sisters on the Desk

As kids, the Bronte sisters: Charlotte, Emily and Anne, would sit right here with their brother Branwell, devoting untold hours to writing and creating fantastical worlds.

Later, engaged on their novels and poetry, the Bronte sisters would stroll round the desk lengthy into the night, studying their work out loud and providing crucial suggestions to one another.

Then Emily died, and Anne died and Charlotte circled the desk alone.

Bronte Parsonage Museum Bronte sisters Haworth England

The Bronte Home is a Pilgrimage Level for Followers

They have been a decent knit household, the Brontes, and a go to to the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth, West Yorkshire, is a proper of passage for 1000’s of Bronte followers. Greater than 200 years after Charlotte Bronte was born, the Bronte home’s attract continues.

Charlotte was born in 1816, Branwell in 1817, Emily in 1818 and Anne in 1820.

Don’t Neglect Patrick Bronte

To not depart anybody out, Patrick Bronte, their social-justice-minded father performed an necessary function because the parson in Haworth. 

Bronte Country West Yorkshire England
Rambling in Bronte Nation


Intrigued by the tragic but uplifting historical past of the Bronte household, I shortly grew obsessive about discovering the highest Bronte points of interest. It’s an offbeat and atmospheric vacation spot to place in your record of England journey itineraries.

My first symptom manifested itself within the churchyard of the Bronte Parish Church. I’d gone for a short ramble and was rejoining my buddies for our BrontëWalks Tour simply as somebody remarked on a black hen whipping throughout the churchyard.

“What in regards to the hen?” I requested shortly, not desirous to miss any Bronte lore.

“It’s a pea hen,” Kalyani, one of many ladies in our group, mentioned. “Only a hen.”

“Oh, not a Bronte hen, then?” I requested, dissatisfied.

“Properly, it is likely to be named Charlotte or Emily.”

Why do the Brontes Fascinate Us?

I may need been taking my Bronte pilgrimage to extremes, but it surely’s simple to be fascinated by the Bronte sisters.

First, there may be the phenomenon of getting three gifted literary sisters in a single home. Then there may be the ardour of their writing and the unforgettable characters they conjured (hey, Heathcliff!).

In the end, there may be tragedy. Anne died at 29, Emily was 30, Charlotte at 38.

Bronte sisters statue Haworth England
The Bronte sisters

Who Have been the Bronte Sisters?

The Bronte sisters have been an unlikely literary trio. Their very own world was small (though they travelled greater than most individuals assume), and so have been they. Charlotte was 4’10”- you may see her tiny gown on the Parsonage.

The books they wrote, nevertheless, loom giant: amongst them Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Emily’s Wuthering Heights and Anne’s The Tenant of Wildfell Corridor. 

View from Haworth England, the Bronte village

The Bronte Sisters in Haworth, England

Their father moved the household to Haworth in 1820 after turning into the village rector, and Haworth’s setting on the sting of the wild moors would encourage and affect all of the sisters’ writing.

Specifically the setting could be felt in Emily’s Wuthering Heights. It’s a novel that appears to claw its manner out of the Yorkshire soil as organically because the purple heather that colors the moors in summer time.

Bronte moors Haworth England

See the Bronte Parish Church

Johnnie Briggs, the information for our BrontëWalks Tour led us into the parish church the place Patrick Bronte had devoted so a few years.

All of the Brontes are buried right here besides Anne, who died in Scarborough. Inside, a plaque devoted to Emily and Charlotte marks the spot on the ground the place they lie.

“Items are at all times being left right here,” Johnnie mentioned.

I appeared down and noticed a tiny brass vase with wild flowers, a painted coronary heart and a feather, realizing I used to be following an extended line of Bronte followers.

Bronte Parish Church Haworth England


The Tragic Historical past of the Brontes

Demise loomed giant within the household and being within the church introduced it residence. There have been 5 Bronte sisters in all, however two of them, Elizabeth and Marie, didn’t stay previous childhood.

Their mom died in 1821, a yr after shifting to Haworth, and Branwell, a gifted artist, by no means lived as much as his early promise, turning to alcohol and morphine and dying early in 1848. Emily died the identical yr of tuberculosis, Anne a yr later.

Charlotte would go on to marry her father’s curate, Arthur Nicholls (in opposition to her father’s needs). She died in 1855, presumably of hyperemesis gravidarum, the identical tremendous morning illness that troubled Kate Middleton.

The final survivor was Patrick who lived to 84.

“Why did the youngsters die so younger? Have been they a sickly household?” I requested Johnnie as we made our manner exterior.

Bronte sisters parsonage graveyard Haworth England


Gravely Unsanitary

Johnnie motioned round on the moss-tinted gravestones standing at crooked angles over the churchyard. “The spring water got here via the graveyard and the water was contaminated. There was sewage within the streets,” he mentioned. “Life expectancy in Haworth was 25.8 years.”

No marvel the Bronte books are so darkish, I believed.

One go searching and it was simple to think about tales of ghosts, insanity and revenge. Between the gray clouds hovering over the horizon and the mournful-looking gravestones, you’d assume a pall of despair would suffocate your complete village.

But this “unusual uncivilized little place,” as Charlotte referred to as it, is surprisingly cheerful.

Bronte sisters in Haworth England


The Churchyard

Even the churchyard was a bustle of Bronte-based exercise, and by likelihood we ran right into a who’s who of Bronte elite.

The lady poking round in a yellow rain slicker was archaeologist Dr Angela Redmond, whereas the person speaking to her was Steven Wooden, a Bronte historian.

Bronte experts in Haworth Parish Church
Bronte consultants deep in dialog


“Angela’s simply discovered a medieval cross,” Steven informed John.

Obligingly, Angela led me to a shadowy nook of the church, pushed away some foliage and confirmed me the faint hint of a Greek cross carved within the stone.

Crouching in entrance of it, I questioned if the Bronte sisters, led by Branwell, the precocious chief of the siblings, had ever stumbled throughout the carving for themselves, constructing an imaginary world round it as they did with Branwell’s toy troopers.

Bronte walk Haworth England


Take a Break at Cobbles and Clay

Stopping for espresso at Cobbles and Clay, a mixture cafe and pottery portray studio, we bumped into yet one more Bronte professional, the famous historian Ann Dinsdale.

At this level I spotted I hadn’t met a single individual in Haworth who wasn’t related to the Brontes, and commenced to marvel if today it wasn’t some kind of Brontemania that had seeped into the spring water.

Little question Ann, creator of The Brontes at Haworth, would have favored to get pleasure from her espresso in peace, however as we have been simply heading out to the moors I couldn’t assist asking her in regards to the Bronte sisters’ connection to the outside.

“They have been residing on the sting of the panorama,” she mentioned. “And the wild moors are so heartbreakingly stunning. They have been very rooted right here.”

Bronte walk to Top Withens
The sting of the panorama

Take Bronte Stroll As much as High Withens

That made me all of the extra excited to get out into Bronte nation for myself. Essentially the most in style Bronte hike is the 6.5-mile circuit as much as High Withens, the farmhouse believed to be the placement of the fictional Wuthering Heights

We didn’t have time for the total hike, however even our abbreviated model was a spotlight, full with atmospheric rain.

“We name it the Yorkshire kiss,” Johnnie mentioned, as I pulled my hood tight.

“I believe Yorkshire simply made it to 3rd base,” I mentioned, wiping drizzle off my brow.

Bronte sisters in Haworth England, the moors


Discover the Moors

We headed up the slim highway, whipped by wind and stared at by soggy sheep huddling in opposition to stone partitions.

Blankets of heather, bracken and grass have been interrupted by darkish patches of Millstone Grit, the native sandstone, whereas a lone tree stood by the ruins of High Withens.

“The connection between literature and the panorama is true right here,” Johnnie mentioned. “This was Heathcliff and Catherine’s wild playground.”

Bronte sisters walk near Haworth

The Romantic Panorama of Yorkshire

It felt bleak and romantic, and right here within the realm of larks and curlews and lapwings, I felt sure the Brontes lived on.

I might image Charlotte, not pacing across the worn picket desk in grief, constrained by 4 partitions, however striding over the moors along with her sisters and brother – whereas round them, like daffodils bending their heads within the wind, wave their generations of followers.



Journey Information for the Bronte sisters and Haworth, England

Bronte sights in and round Haworth

High Withens and Bronte Waterfall Stroll

This hike begins from Haworth and takes you to the Bronte Waterfall, a spot held pricey by Charlotte (don’t miss the stone ‘Bronte Chair‘), throughout the Bronte Bridge and as much as High Withens, coming again alongside the Pennine Approach.

For precise instructions you may get a map from the Vacationer Workplace at 2-4 West Lane, or try this detailed Guardian article on the Brontës’ moors, Haworth, West Yorkshire for instructions.

For a shorter stroll, you can even depart from Stanbury (that’s what we did).

BrontëWalks Tour

Study as you hike with BrontëWalks. Providing guided walks on the moors and day excursions of the Haworth space, BrontëWalks is the proper repair for any Bronte habit. Our information Johnnie Briggs was a storehouse of Bronte lore. Choose-ups from motels and railway stops. Tel: 011-44-7749-108-105. brontewalks.co.uk.

Bronte country, Bronte Walks tour Haworth England

The Bronte Parsonage Museum

The Bronte Parsonage, the home the place the Brontes lived, is positioned on the prime of Foremost Avenue. It’s now a museum run by the Bronte Society. (Enjoyable truth: Judy Dench is the President of the Bronte Society.) For those who’re a literary fan, that is the one Bronte sight to not miss.

The Bronte Parsonage Museum is open Wed to Sunday. Notice: The museum is closed in January. Deal with: Brontë Parsonage Museum, Church Avenue, Haworth, Keighley, West Yorkshire, UK.

Haworth Parish Church

The Haworth Parish Church, St Michael and All Angels, the place the Brontes are buried (save Anne) is positioned subsequent to the parsonage.

Rebuilt in 1879, it hardly appears to be like the identical because it did in the course of the Brontes’ time right here, however the tower dates again to 1480, and the origins of the church itself return a lot additional.

Margaret’s E book Store

Margaret’s E book Store was the village put up workplace the place the Bronte sisters would put up their manuscripts. And sure, individuals are available in to rub the unique picket counter.

Druggist’s Store

It’s also possible to go to the Druggist’s Store the place Branwell purchased his opium.

KWVR Steam Prepare – the Keighley and Price Valley Railway

It wasn’t constructed till after the Brontes’ time, however the KWVR Steam Prepare continues to be a enjoyable factor to do from Haworth.

Constructed to serve the native mill trades within the late Nineteenth century, the prepare line runs much less than 5 miles, but it surely’s a visit via the historic Price Valley, the place Haworth is positioned. And it does have a literary connection. It’s featured in the story of the Railway Youngsters.

The place to eat and keep in Bronte nation

Ashmount Country House, in the footsteps of the Bronte sisters

Ashmount Nation Home

Ashmount Nation Home in Haworth is a luxurious mattress and breakfast (we stopped there for a luxurious excessive tea). The Bronte connection?

This elegant Nineteenth-century home was the house of Charlotte Bronte’s doctor. Deal with: Ashmount Nation Home, Mytholmes Lane, Haworth, Yorkshire.

Keep at Ponden Corridor

The Seventeenth-century Ponden Corridor close to Stanbury is claimed to be the mannequin for Thrushcross Grange in Wuthering Heights. It’s a spot the Brontes visited typically. Now it’s a B&B.

Holdsworth House Bronte Country
Holdsworth Home

Holdsworth Home

We stayed at Holdsworth Home, a luxurious resort 3 miles north of Halifax and a few 20-minute drive to Haworth. Whereas this Jacobean manor inbuilt 1633 has no connection to the Bronte sisters that I do know of, it makes a comfy base for exploring the West Yorkshire’s Pennines and the Dales.

Importantly, the Beatles stayed right here in 1964, and the slim twin beds the place they slept are nonetheless right here. Additionally, the shaggy pleasant horses out subsequent to the resort are irresistible.

Horses at Holdsworth House

Clarendon Lodge & Restaurant – A Pub with Rooms

Barely farther afield is Clarendon restaurant, a artistic mixture of contemporary French delicacies and British cookery. The constructing is a standard, stone-walled public home 8.3 miles from medieval Bolton Abbey. Situated in Hebden, Skipton.

Attending to Haworth

By rail: To get to Haworth you may take a prepare to the city of Keighley. Then take the restored Keighley and Price Valley railway to Haworth.


For journey concepts learn Locations to Go to in England.

For more information on Yorkshire go to Welcome to Yorkshire. Disclosure: My journey to the Bronte Nation was sponsored by VisitBritain – go to their web site for loads of journey concepts.



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