Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Haworth, Brontës Old Haunt

Visiting the home of the Brontës is a rite of passage for any poetic soul. The story of the Brontë family is as well known now as their books, and equally compelling. Tracing the sister’s footsteps through Haworth churchyard, across moors, and along cobbled streets, flagstones. One hundred and sixty-nine years after the publication of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, the place still resounds with the Brontë spirit. In fact, they’re keeping a whole community of people alive.

A sign post to Brontë Falls, a holiday home called Heathcliff, a lorry emblazoned with Brontë Water, I wondered if the chickens I met scratching in the graves were aware of their rich cultural heritage.

Hiding her chicks from the cat ...

Stepping into Haworth church alone, I approached the corner where the Brontë Altar stands and was greeted with the violent noise of static from the church sound system, coinciding with my first footstep onto the altar place. A deeply shocking sound, churches are usually such tranquil places. However, I was surprisingly calm in the midst of it. I doubted that this place of sanctuary was rigged to thrill unsuspecting Brontë pilgrims, not with the famously haunted Black Bull just a few metres away.

As if the atmospheres conveyed in their stories hung around me, the sisters certainly didn’t disappoint.

The table where the stories where written ...

Haworth, East Yorkshire.