High on the windswept bleak moors, the well-preserved old hillside village of Haworth is the perfect place to recapture the spirit of one of the world’s most famous literary families.
Halfway up the cobbled main street, Haworth’s elegant Parsonage was the home of the famed Brontë sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne from 1820 to 1861. Today, the Parsonage Museum is maintained by the Brontë Society in the family’s old home. This area of Yorkshire was the source of the sisters’ inspiration, and the Brontës wrote some of the best-loved books in the English language at the property, including Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and Agnes Grey.
The Georgian house still retains much of the atmosphere of the Brontës’ time. The rooms are filled with their pictures, furniture, clothes and personal possessions. Visitors can step inside the dining room where the trio did most of their writing. The sisters had a routine of walking around the table until late in the evening, planning their novels.
At the rear of the house is the kitchen where the as children, the girls would listen to their servant Tabby Aykroyd tell forboding stories about Haworth and the moors. Today’s visitors can tour a dozen rooms in the house, learning many of the stories about the Brontë family’s life. The rest of the village and the rugged surrounding landscape are worth exploring too, as they played a part in shaping some of their treasured literature.
Brontë Parsonage Museum, Haworth, Keighley, West Yorkshire, BD22 8DR
Tel: 01535 642 323
Words: Ian White