I was thinking that it was just last year that we first visited Haworth (Bronte country) but it turns out that it was actually two years ago. How time flies! We didn’t do the tour of the house this time. Maddeningly I can’t find the photos which I took last time so I don’t have any of Haworth Parsonage interiors. Well that’s a good excuse to go back again and take some more, plus my husband fancies having a pint standing at the bar in The Black Bull where Branwell Bronte drank.
Anyway, here is a photo of the outside of Haworth Parsonage, which never changes much. It has been added on to over the years but this is the original part which is as it was when the Brontes lived there. It looks much bigger than it really is. Internally it’s exactly the same as my own house with four rooms downstairs, two either side of the front door. My house doesn’t look so grand, I think Georgian houses always look nicer than Victorian ones. There must also have been a wash-house too as all old houses had one, mine has been turned into a kitchen. They didn’t have a bathroom so had to make a trip to an outside toilet which can’t have been much fun but I suppose it was the same for everyone then.
The last time we were in Haworth we were in a hurry for some reason and we weren’t able to walk up to the moor, so we did that this time. This is the pathway up to the moor which is the one which the Brontes would have used. The path goes from the edge of the graveyard and it’s quite a steep hill. I took this photo on the way back down because on the way up I was so hot and puffed out that I didn’t notice what a lovely tree lined lane it is. They have drystane dykes in Yorkshire just like Scotland.
And these are some photos of the moorland. This just looks exactly like a Scottish moor, the purple heather was just beginning to flower and next week it’ll look lovely but most of the year moors look bleak although there are usually loads of ground nesting birds like skylarks in the undergrowth.
The front windows of the parsonage look onto the graveyard which is very close to it. I have to admit that I enjoy looking around old graveyards but when I first saw this one it struck me immediately that it’s incredibly tightly packed with graves and when we did the tour of the house we learned that there were so many bodies packed into the ground around the parsonage that they didn’t deteriorate naturally as there wasn’t enough air in the earth. It meant that poisonous liquid from the bodies was leaking out and when it rained the very steep street was running with rainwater contaminated with dead bodies. The houses in Haworth also have cellars which poor people had to live in and the water flooded into them. It’s no wonder that Haworth had the highest rate of deaths in the whole of Britain at the time the Brontes lived there. Even although the parsonage is on higher ground than the graveyard, it didn’t stop the dining-room from being flooded when it rained heavily. The smell must have been appalling and it’s a miracle that any of the Brontes managed to reach adulthood given the circumstances.
This is a photo of the main street in Haworth which is just a short walk from the parsonage, not even one minute. The last time we were there there were quite a few empty shops but this time the whole place looked better and there are a couple of decent second-hand bookshops, an old-fashioned sweetie shop, vintage clothes shops as well as gift shops.
I love it when I can stand in a street and see the hills nearby, just like the town which I grew up in. I hope I’ve managed to give a bit of a sense of Haworth to anyone who hasn’t been able to visit it. If you’re a Bronte fan, like myself it’s well worth a visit or two, or even three!