Wuthering Heights: House that inspired Emily Bronte classic for sale


Ponden Hall

image copyrightStrutt and Parker

image captionPonden Hall has traditionally been identified with the Lintons’ home Thrushcross Grange in Wuthering Heights

A house thought to be the inspiration for Emily Bronte when writing 19th century classic Wuthering Heights is on sale for more than £1m.

Ponden Hall, in Stanbury, West Yorkshire, dates back to 1541 and played host to Bronte and her family during their childhood.

Several features of the property are said to have inspired her work.

In 2014, it was converted into a bed and breakfast which is currently run by owners Steve Brown and Julie Akhurst.

image copyrightStrutt and Parker
image captionIt is also believed to have inspired Anne Brontë’s novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Sisters Emily and Anne, who began writing as children along with their sibling Charlotte, first came across Ponden Hall during the Crow Hill Bog Burst, a mudslide that occurred following heavy rainfall in September 1824.

While this was the girls’ first encounter with Ponden, they continued to visit, with the house providing inspiration for both Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

The library at Ponden, considered one of the finest in West Yorkshire and which boasted a Shakespeare first portfolio, was particularly appealing to the Brontes, who would often stop by to use it.

The Bronte sisters

  • Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte were 19th Century novelists who formed one of the world’s most famous literary families
  • Often left alone together in their isolated Haworth home, all three sisters began to write stories at an early age
  • Charlotte’s Jane Eyre and Emily’s Wuthering Heights are hailed as British classics. Anne’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was a bestseller
  • Tragedy struck the family when Emily and Anne both died of tuberculosis within six months of each other between 1848 and 1849. It also killed their brother, Branwell
  • Charlotte continued to write and later married, but she too was killed by the disease in March 1855

Mr Brown said it was a request from a Bronte enthusiast to stay over in the old library that prompted the couple to turn Ponden into a bed and breakfast.

The couple moved into the property in 1998 and undertook extensive restoration work.

image copyrightStrutt and Parker
image captionThe house, which overlooks Ponden Reservoir, is a Grade II listed building

The main guest bedroom features a small, single-paned window within a wooden, panelled box bed which bears similarities to the window that appears in Wuthering Heights.

  • Read more stories from across Yorkshire

Ms Akhurst said: “This is the room in the old end of the house which has a tiny window in it which inspired Emily to write the story of Cathy’s ghost.

“There is the scene in which Mr Lockwood is asleep in the bed and he has a nightmare where he believes the ghost of Cathy is coming through the window to get him.”

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