Yesterday I revisited Haworth with a friend. Looking back at my Flickr photos I see that my last visit to this Literary Shrine was in 2005. On that day, it was a Sunday, the queue to get into the Parsonage stretched down through the garden. I planned to return on a quieter day. So, a mere 7 years later, I was back again and indeed found the village and Parsonage very much quieter. [Mental note to self - visit Haworth Parsonage on a Monday in November] My only previous visit inside the house itself was in the early 1990s.
Approaching the Museum from the Car Park
I’m sure I don’t need to explain here that the Parsonage at Haworth, near Keighley in West Yorkshire was home to the Bronte family (probably the world’s most famous literary family) from 1820 to 1861.
Bronze Sculpture (by Jocelyn Horner) of The Bronte Sisters in the Heather Garden
Little had changed in the house itself – my friend and I and one other couple were the only visitors at 1pm today. Some of the pictures had been moved about and there’s a much improved permanent exhibition called Genius: The Bronte Story. My friend had brought along her guidebook from a previous trip [in 1983] so we were able to compare and as photography inside the house is prohibited. Here are some pictures from that book:
The Dining Room
Mr Bronte’s Study
Bronte Parsonage Guide, 1983
There’s a further exhibition called Bronte Relics : A Collection History.
“New exhibition looking at the fascinating history of the Bronte Parsonage Museum collection, a story almost as extraordinary as the Bronte story itself.” [website]
“The provenance of a variety of objects is traced back through previous owners and collectors to the major sources of Bronteana; amongst them Charlotte’s husband, Arthur Bell Nicholls; Ellen Nussey, Charlotte’s lifelong friend; the family of Martha Brown, the Brontes’ servant, and the American collector, Henry Houston Bonnell.” [2012 flyer]
Opposite The Parsonage is the School in which Charlotte Bronte taught at one time.
The Parsonage is on the left and the School on the right
The Churchyard, Haworth
No visit to Haworth can be described without a mention of the weather. Maybe on occasion the sun shines up on Haworth Moor but I do believe that I have yet to experience this phenomenon! Today was cloudy and wet and typically atmospheric. But read here about a summertime visit.
The Black Bull – Branwell was a ‘regular’
Through The Book Shop Window
Cobbles and Clay Art Cafe, 60 Main Street, Haworth
Tea and Tart at Cobbles and Clay
After just over an hour in the Museum we headed for a bright and jolly Haworth tea shop, stopping briefly to enquire whether the bookshop [Venables and Bainbridge] had any copies of Wuthering Heights in Polish for my friend to buy for her daughter-in-law. It didn’t. We were surprised that there were no foreign language versions of the great novels in the Bronte Museum Shop. We know they had sold French and German versions in the past.
As we returned up the hill, back to the car park, we noticed that the church was open and popped quickly inside to look at the Bronte memorials before leaving the village.