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Y12 trip to Haworth

Category: English, News, Trips

The tour guide points out the house on the moor believed to be the inspiration for Wuthering Heights.

Visiting The Bronte Parsonage and museum in Haworth, Yorkshire, has long been on the books for the English department but delayed due to Covid. So it was with great pleasure that Mrs Cleary’s Year 12 English literature ‘A’ level class finally took a minibus there on 10th June.

During the visit, we had a talk on the Brontes and their works; we had a short guided tour of the moors, where we saw the house that was the inspiration for Wuthering Heights and stone sculptures of books, with each book representing one of the Bronte children and visited the museum, where we saw the actual writing table that the Bronte’s sisters wrote their famous novels and the chair by the fire, where Anne Bronte used to sit, prop her feet up on the fire grate and warm her feet!

Enjoying a short respite before the lecture on the Bronte family.

We also learnt of the particular gruesome story of the 40,000 bodies being buried on top of each other in the tiny parsonage graveyard. During typhoid and cholera epidemics, the village’s water would run through the graveyard into people’s homes for household use.  Unsurprisingly, 19thc Haworth had one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country and perhaps it is less surprising as to why Emily and Anne Bronte died at such a young age from TB.

Despite the horror story of the graveyard and although a little windy on the moor, the sun shone all day, which was welcomed, particularly over lunch, when there was a little time to relax and potter about the pretty tea and gift shops.

The actual dining room, table and chairs where the Bronte sisters wrote their novels.

We will be studying Anne Bronte’s novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, (published 1848) in Year 13, which many critics now view as the first feminist novel written in the English language, telling the story of ‘a woman who violates social conventions, braves the world and faces adversity on her own’.

This trip really helped place the novel and Anne Bronte in context, both socially and historically.

We are very much hoping to continue trips to this world famous literary site at Haworth, with a trip being planned next year for Year 9s who will be studying Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

The Brontë Stones are a group of stones placed in the landscape between the birthplace of the Brontë family in Thornton and the parsonage where they wrote their famous work in Haworth. There are three stones that celebrate the bicentenaries of the three sisters: Charlotte, Emily and Anne, and a fourth stone to mark the significance of the Brontës as a literary family.
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