Sunday, 22 July 2018

Bronte Adventures – a list of Bronte inspired places to visit

Here's a list of places that appear on the Bronte map that fans may want to visit as an alternative to the usual pilgrimage to Haworth.  It seems like an impossible feat to name all the places the Brontes visited, but here are some to go at if you’re looking for somewhere different to visit.  I’ve linked to a few articles by others for backstories of locations.  In no particular order:

Clough House, Halifax Road, Hightown, Liversedge

Hartshead, West Yorkshire, where Patrick had a curacy at St Peter’s church. Patrick first rented Thornbush Farm, formerly Lousy Farm (what a name!) you can see it here followed by Clough House, Liversedge, where he lived with Maria and where their eldest 2 daughters Maria and Elizabeth were born. More info.

·         Oakwell Hall (above) and other lesser known Bronte trail locations in the West Yorkshire region can be found in this super list in the Batley News published on Charlotte’s 200th birthday 21st April 2016 

Thornton, West Yorkshire. 72-74 Market Street (above) is the birthplace of Charlotte, Branwell, Emily & Anne. Now a café called Emily’s: the atmosphere is lovely and the coffee’s good too.

·       Haworth, West Yorkshire.  The Bronte Parsonage Museum (above), where the Bronte family moved in 1820 and where their famous novels and poems were written. A must see for Bronte enthusiasts. See The Bronte Society website.


·       Scarborough. The site of the Grand Hotel on St Nicholas Cliff is where Anne and Branwell Bronte holidayed with the Robinson family in the early 1840s and where Anne later died in 1849.  Her grave is next to St Mary’s church between Castle Road and Church Lane (above) in the Old Town.

·       Hathersage, where Charlotte visited Ellen Nussey.  North Lees Hall (above) is said to be Charlotte’s inspiration for Thornfield Hall in Jane Eyre.

      Hathersage itself is reproduced as Morton in Jane Eyre. The village churchyard of St Michael and All Angels (above), contains the graves of the Eyre family. And yes the church bears exactly the same name as the church in Haworth.

·       Kirkstall Abbey – where Patrick Bronte took Maria Branwell courting. It is said that he proposed to her here!

Roe Head School, by Anne Bronte

·       Roe Head School, Mirfield. Charlotte first went in 1831, followed by Emily then Anne. I'ts where Charlotte met Ellen Nussey, Mary Taylor and Headmistress Margaret Wooler.

·       Lake District – Windermere, where Charlotte Bronte met the Kay Shuttleworths and Elizabeth Gaskell at Briery Close in 1850 (above).  Weirdly the place just below it is a water sports area called Low Wood. My brain just fried at the coincidence of Charlotte writing Lowood into Jane Eyre in 1847.  Here's a feature on the same house, now extended, at Briery Close during its sale in 2017 

·       Liverpool. You could go sit in a pub and think of Branwell on his visits here with his friend John Brown.  Or walk the docks and remember Heathcliff.  Seriously, it’s a great place to visit.  The Museum of Liverpool on the docks is brilliant, particularly the replica model of the docks and tales from the dockers.  Liverpool has some of the best museums and galleries I've ever seen (Walker Gallery well worth a visit).

Lakes of Killarney, Trip Advisor

·       Honeymoon venues of Wales and Ireland - Conwy (Wales) and various places in Ireland - Killarney, Glengariff, Tralee, Cork, Banagher – the places Charlotte and her new husband Arthur Bell Nichols visited on their honeymoon. More info here.

Sadly no longer to be seen.
Rue d'Isabelle, 1894. Watercolour by J Carabain

Brussels - February 1842 Charlotte and Emily attended Pensionnat Heger (boarding school). Charlotte later returned to teach at the school. It’s no longer there – more info here 

·       Drumballyroney, County Down, Ireland – where Patrick Bronte was born and grew up.  A wonderful blog by a Bronte enthusiast's trip to the Bronte homeland in Ireland is documented here.   This one I’ll reserve for next year – for Patrick’s celebration year 2019. Here's Discover Northern Ireland's info on the area.

·       Cornwall – 25 Chapel Street, Penzance (above) was the birthplace of the Branwell family including Maria and Elizabeth (Aunt) Branwell.  It’s here I’m heading next week!

Feel free to comment on any places you’d add to the list, areas or houses you may have visited with a Bronte connection.