As part of the Bronte day at West Lane on Dec 8th there is a small ” Imagine a world without any Brontes “display as I thought it would be interesting to imagine a world were the Bronte sisters had never published their works,I examined the effects on Haworth and the surrounding area and also on popular culture ,I thought I would start with the basics .The Bronte Parsonage.
The delightful Old Parsonage B &B Haworth
Mr and Mrs O Brunty
This is a pleasant country house style B and B .Though it has relatively few rooms they are charming and comfortable .Breakfast is served in a delightful room overlooking the garden.
The Parsonage current owners bought the then ramshackle old house from the diocese with all its furnishings , many date back to the 18th and may well have been used by its most famous occupant William Grimshaw .Grimshaw relics include this magnificent Teapot from which guests receive their morning cuppa.
and this writing slope which houses the B and B visitor book
On the slope are some fragments of children’s writing believed to have belonged to the subsequent incumbents children.The Parsonage has in fact a second though lesser claim to fame as it was also the home of the so-called “Bradford Bard” Branwell Bronte
The son of a curate Branwell Patrick Bronte was a talented scholar who has a translation of Horace still in print. Mr Bronte also wrote several poems published both in his lifetime and later and a short novel ,”Northangerlands lost love ” the novel set in the barren Yorkshire moors above stanbury is a cult read amongst a certain brand of Penine way walker for its breathtakingly beautiful description of the countryside .However its mixed up descriptions of geography can make it a confusing read for any hiker planning their route by it.
Branwell Bronte was the subject of a huge controversy in recent years when it was discovered that at some point a previous parsonage owner and Branwell scholar a Mr S.Y.Mington had discovered a number of MSS by one of Branwells sisters and forged Branwell Brontes own signature changing the EJB to PBB.
Toy soliders found in the floors when the B and B was recently renovated are said to have belonged to Branwell.
Many Branwell Bronte era furnishing were bought at auction when his brother in law moved to Ireland and these have been tracked down and are still used to furnish the rooms giving it a uniquely old world feel.
The house runs the well attended annual “Grimshaw ministries” christian conference each May .
Prices £40 for a single room .(there are no ensuit single rooms)
and £60 for a en suit double with shower.
The campsite to the rear of the house has tent pitches from £7.50 and Caravan pitches at £20.
Campsite Facilities are clean and well maintained but fairly basic , two toilets and a small room housing a rather poorly equipped but picturesque little comunal kitchen/washroom /drying room for clothing (extra charges may apply).
Breakfast is served between 7 am and 9 pm to accommodate both guests and campers .The Parsonage also serves evening meals and in the afternoons its possible to eat in its tea rooms or in summer in its charming gardens
(photo by Jacqui Sadler)
The Parsonage Tearoom opens Match to September .11 am to 4.30 pm.
E Nussey (UK)
Lovely place to stay ,friendly hosts and staff (though one member of staff woke me up early whistling and the dogs can be a bit boisterous).The rooms are immaculately clean and food while simple well prepared and in abundance .The view across to the grave yard is a bit grim to open the shutters to first thing in the morning but the Leylandii almost cover it over,All in all a great little place to stay.
E Gaskell (Manchester)
Lovely clean ,well looked after little place ,could not fault the service or rooms ,however it suffers from being in the middle of one of the most God forsaken places on Gods good earth, A dreary grey town surroned by nothing but dreary moors ,wind farms and unambitiously styled modern housing estates.In addition I was woken in the middle of the night (,it was at least 9.30 pm ,)by drunken locals coming out in fearsome hoards from the bBack Bull and shortly after by a load of weird non conformist types coming out of their new happy clappy church in the Old Schoolrooms.
Ellis Bell (Gondal)
Brill place ,great service ,loved the quite location ,moors and house ,esp the whole array of pets dogs ,cats ,hawks, geese etc,Beautiful landscape will def be back , I liked the grave yard,,a g reat view loved the cawing of the rooks ,,Locals also welcoming ,I Stopped off on my way to Whitby Gothic weekend and no one looked twice at me in my goth gear. All in all an inviting scene for the harrased heart
J Gardiner (UK)
Loved the Parsonage ,loved the food ,loved the countryside and the upper part of Haworth,however at the bottom of Haworth the rather tacky and ubiquitous railway children souvenir shops and tea rooms that cluster around the KWVR station do spoil the place.
I based this scenerio on the fate of nearby villages and large houses .
The usual fate of large houses today is to become flats (the Parsonage is too small) To become old people’s homes ,,the Parsonage is small but could have been extended to the rear but it’s too badly situated and also the passageways are mostly too narrow.What remains is either a restaurant or a guest house /hotel ,, in a Bronteless Haworth ,,there would not be enough demand for a very large top end restaurant however with the Penine way so close it’s entirely likely that it would be a profitable B and B if it supplemented its income in other ways .