FAMED for the desolate and isolated settings of their novels, Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte’s family home is located against a backdrop familiar to their readers. Built in 1778-79 for the vicar of St. Michael and All Angels Church in the village of Haworth, the parsonage became the home of Patrick and Maria Bronte, along with their six children, in 1820. The following year, Maria died, and two of the older Bronte daughters, Maria and Elizabeth, also passed away in childhood. Accompanied by a small staff and their aunt, Elizabeth Branwell, Patrick, Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell lived out the rest of their lives in the house.
Best known for their novels, Jane Eyre (Charlotte), Wuthering Heights (Emily), Agnes Grey, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Anne), the sisters were first published as poets, under the pseudonyms of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, and their creative endeavours began much earlier. As children, Branwell received a set of toy soldiers and, together, the young Brontes created the fantasy worlds of Angria and Gondal for them. The tiny soldier-sized story books they wrote remain on display at the Parsonage, in the room set up as the Children’s Study. Downstairs, in the dining room, Branwell and his sisters planned their stories and honed their craft.
Although he is less acclaimed than his more famous sisters, Branwell’s artwork and the story of his struggles with addiction, ultimately leading to delirium tremens, are also featured throughout the house, from his studio, to the room he shared with his father in his final years before his death at the age of 31 years. Emily is thought to have passed away on the black settee in the dining room later the same year, aged 30, and Charlotte died in her room upstairs. She was 39 and in the early stages of pregnancy. Her husband, Arthur Bell Nicholls, remained in the family home until Patrick, the last remaining Bronte, died 7 years later (Anne, too, had died shortly after Branwell and Emily). All of the family graves can be visited in the churchyard behind the house.
Physical address: Church Street, Haworth, Keighley, West Yorkshire
Phone number: +44 1535 642323
Business hours: 10am – 5:30pm April to October; 10am – 5pm November to March; closed 24-27 December 2017 and 2-31 January 2018
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