Places to visit - Haworth

Updated: Sep 6, 2019


Although Haworth doesn't really have any royal connections, none that I know of anyway, I visited recently & thought I'd add this lovely little village to my Places to visit page.


Haworth is a beautiful village in West Yorkshire, England. The surrounding areas include Oakworth & Oxenhope. Nearby villages include Cross Roads, Stanbury & Lumbfoot.


Haworth

Haworth is a tourist destination known for its association with the famous Brontë sisters & the preserved heritage Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.


Haworth village;


Haworth is first mentioned as a settlement in 1209. The name may refer to a "hedged enclosure" or "hawthorn enclosure". The name was recorded as "Howorth" on a 1771 map. Haworth is in the Worth Valley amid the Pennines. It is 212 miles (341 km) north of London, 43 miles (69 km) west of York & 9 miles (14 km) west of Bradford.


Tourism accounts for much of the local economy, with the major attractions being the heritage railway & Brontë Parsonage Museum. In Haworth there are tea rooms, souvenir & antiquarian bookshops, restaurants, pubs & hotels including the Black Bull, where Branwell Brontë's decline into alcoholism & opium addiction allegedly began. Haworth is a base for exploring Brontë Country, while still being close to the major cities of Bradford & Leeds.


On 22 November 2002 Haworth was granted Fairtrade Village status. On 21 October 2005, Haworth Fairtrade officially signed an agreement to twin with Machu Picchu in Peru.


The Haworth Band is one of the oldest secular musical organisations in the Keighley area. History records indicate that there was a brass band at Ponden, close by in 1854 with a body of excellent performers. It was founded by John Heaton who lived at Ponden. The band played at a celebration in Haworth at the conclusion of the Crimean War. "Over the years the world of brass band music went from strength to strength, during which time the Haworth Band went with it."


Every year the village hosts a 1940s weekend where locals & visitors don wartime attire for a host of nostalgic events.


Key places of interest;


Haworth railway station is part of the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, an authentic preserved steam railway.




The 43 miles (69 km) long Brontë Way leads past Lower Laithe Reservoir, Stanbury to the Brontë waterfalls, the Brontë Bridge & the Brontë Stone Chair in which (it is said) the sisters took turns to sit & write their first stories.



It then leads out of the valley & up on the moors to Ponden Hall (reputedly Thrushcross Grange in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights) & Top Withens, a desolate ruin which was reputedly the setting for the farmstead Wuthering Heights. Top Withens can also be reached by a shorter walking route departing from the nearby village of Stanbury.


St Michael and All Angels' Church is situated on Church Street, next to the parsonage. It is part of the Church of England Deanery of Craven.


St Michael and All Angel's Church, Haworth

The Brontë sisters were born in Thornton near Bradford, but wrote most of their novels while living at Haworth Parsonage when their father was the parson at the Church of St. Michael and All Angels. In the 19th century, the village & surrounding settlements were largely industrialised, which put it at odds with the popular portrayal in Wuthering Heights, which only bore resemblance to the upper moorland that Emily Brontë was accustomed to. The Parsonage is now a museum owned & maintained by the Brontë Society. No stay in Haworth is complete without a visit to the world famous Brontë Parsonage Museum. Home to the literary family from 1820 to 1861, Charlotte, Emily & Anne penned some of our best loved books & this beautifully preserved Georgian house gives a snapshot of their lives. Furniture, clothes & personal possessions give a fascinating insight into what it must have been like to live in 19th century Haworth.


Brontë Parsonage Museum

Haworth & Haworth railway station have been used as settings for numerous period films and TV series, including The Railway Children (starring Jenny Agutter), Yanks (starring Richard Gere & Vanessa Redgrave), & Alan Parker's film version of Pink Floyd's The Wall (starring Bob Geldof). It also featured in "Wild Child" (starring Emma Roberts), & "The Souk" (a high class vintage shop) was depicted as a charity shop. In 2016 the BBC drama To Walk Invisible was shot in & around Haworth & included a full-scale replica of the Brontë Parsonage, Old School Rooms & Haworth Church at the time of the Brontës on nearby Penistone Hill.


Haworth is a haven for specialist shopping. Cobbled Main Street is thriving with antiques & collectables, with old fashioned windows flaunting tempting displays of second hand books, Fairtrade gifts. Thank goodness there's an oasis of tea shops to greet you at the top of the hill!



The Brontë sisters;


From left to right, they are Anne, Emily, and Charlotte; Branwell originally painted himself between Emily and Charlotte, but later painted himself out.

Anne Brontë (b.17 January 1820 – d.28 May 1849) was an English novelist & poet, the youngest member of the Brontë literary family. She published a volume of poetry with her sisters (Poems by Currer, Ellis, & Acton Bell, 1846) & two novels. Agnes Grey, based upon her experiences as a governess, was published in 1847. Her second & last novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, which is considered to be one of the first sustained feminist novels, appeared in 1848. Like her poems, both her novels were first published under the masculine pen name of Acton Bell. Anne's life was cut short when she died of what is now suspected to be pulmonary tuberculosis at the age of 29. Partly because the re-publication of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was prevented by Charlotte Brontë after Anne's death, she is not as well known as her sisters. However, her novels, like those of her sisters, have become classics of English literature.


Emily Jane Brontë, born 30 July 1818 – died 19 December 1848) was an English novelist & poet who is best known for her only novel, Wuthering Heights, now considered a classic of English literature. Emily was the third-eldest of the four surviving Brontë siblings, between the youngest Anne & her brother Branwell. She published under the pen name Ellis Bell.


Charlotte Brontë (b.21 April 1816 – d.31 March 1855) was an English novelist & poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood & whose novels became classics of English literature. She enlisted in school at Roe Head in January 1831, aged 14 years. She left the year after to teach her sisters, Emily & Anne, at home, returning in 1835 as a governess. In 1839 she undertook the role as governess for the Sidgwick family, but left after a few months to return to Haworth where the sisters opened a school, but failed to attract any students. Instead they turned to writing & they each first published in 1846 under the pseudonyms of Currer, Ellis & Acton Bell. Her first novel The Professor was rejected by publishers, her second novel Jane Eyre was published in 1847, although it was not initially well received; one critic described it as a "pre-eminently an anti-Christian composition". The sisters admitted to their Bell pseudonyms in 1848, & by the following year were celebrated in London literary circles. Brontë experienced the early deaths of all her siblings. She became pregnant shortly after her marriage in June 1854 but died on 31 March 1855 of tuberculosis or possibly typhus. She also wrote Shirley, published in 1849

Villette, published in 1853.



The church;


The current St Michael and All Angels church in Haworth is the third building of religious significance to stand on this site, with the first Haworth Chapel dating back to the 14th & 15th Centuries. There is some belief that a religious building may have stood on the site before then, although there is no concrete evidence for this.


St Michael and All Angels' Church is the Church of England parish church of Haworth, West Yorkshire. The current structure, the third church building on the site, was built between 1879 and 1881 although parts of the original medieval church building, notably the tower, survive from earlier periods. The church is best known for its historic association with the Brontë sisters whose father Revd. Patrick Brontë served as minister of the parish between 1820 and 1861.


Below are some of my photos taken during my recent visit;

St Michael and All Angels' Church, Haworth

Brontë Parsonage Museum


St Michael and All Angels' Church, Haworth

St Michael and All Angels' Church, Haworth


Charlotte Bronte's study, Bronte Parsonage Museum

Dresses belonging to the Bronte sisters

Charlotte Bronte's writing desk

Haworth shopping;


























Further interest;



You can also watch the excellent one off drama by the BBC, 'To Walk Invisible'

Sally Wainwright writes & directs this one-off British television drama which follows the lives of renowned authors the Brontë sisters. Set in 1840s Yorkshire, sisters Anne (Charlie Murphy), Charlotte (Finn Atkins) & Emily (Chloe Pirrie) must come together after their troubled brother Branwell (Adam Nagaitis) struggles to come to terms with a failed love affair & becomes consumed by alcohol & drug addictions. With their family situation worsening by the day, the sisters turn to writing as a way to escape the hardships of their family life. The cast also includes Jonathan Pryce & Rebecca Callard.


If you've never been to Haworth, it's well worth a visit, hope you enjoy the photos.



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