Imagine a world without any Brontes

Haworth had the Brontes never published their works,,,,,


Haworth ,Home of William Grimshaw ,the KWVR and the Railway Childrenheptonstall_6

Haworth a large village on the edge of Keighley ,it is easily accessible by both the KWVR steam train and an hourly bus service which goes straight up main street.

bus heptenstall

Haworth, once a thriving mill town is now a quiet little haven full of stone cottages and cobbled streets .It is amply supplied by tea rooms around the KWVR station but  at the top of the village there is only the Old Parsonage tea rooms and a small but excellent fish and chip shop.The mainstreet is a steep climb but there is a small children’s play center with a  Railway children theme at the top of the village next to the Grimshaw center .

Unfortunately  Haworth is spoiled by its surrondings ,the once empty moorland surrounding Haworth has been progressively filled by the expansion of the Ovenden Moor Wind farm. Several large turbines have been built on the moors overlooking Stanbury and another 12 are planned at the remote Top Withins site  after objections by Denholme resident successfully had the wind farm site moved From Thornton  Moor

,Thornton Moor.jpg

While Haworth is little more than a stopping off point for most visitors who then head to the famous Railway Children Station in the village of Oakworth .Haworth does have  more than one claim to fame ,while it is  primarily known as the home of its one time fiery preacher William Grimshaw and there is a large new christian center devoted to him at the top of the village.

Backing onto the large new Grimshaw center are the  schoolrooms which were built largely by the efforts of his  successor Patrick Bronte  father of the localy renowned Branwell Bronte ,Patrick Bronte was himself  an amature poet and  was an avid campaigner for the poor ,it was in a large part due to his efforts Haworth became a healthier place for its residents.


The villages  interesting church was built a few decades after the schoolrooms but unfortunately both have fallen into disrepair,the schoolrooms are  currently  being converted to houses and a further development of houses is expected on the land just behind them  ,it will  be called Branwell court ,named after the Bard of Bradford Branwell Bronte who is a little known poet and scholar and who lived at the Old Parsonage and taught in the schoolrooms  .

sarah Malden blogspot

The church is in a more precarious position and urgently needs roofing , funds  for repair of the church have been applied for on the basis of the villages links to Grimshaw .

This is more or less the sum total of Haworths attractions however for  travelers arriving by car there is a pleasant route out of Haworth across the Moors towards Pendle ,The road though rather narrow and in a poor state of repair runs past the delightful little hamlet of Stanbury before heading past Watersheddles reservoir and onto the Wycoller revoir country park ,access is via a car park  which has clean and usually open public toilets ,a small  cabin cafe and  in summer there is usually an ice cream van .


Image credit ,the derelict church image

and the final photo


About hathawaysofhaworth

I am a Historian and author living in the north
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3 Responses to Imagine a world without any Brontes

  1. Roger Smales says:

    Why have you included two pictures of Heptonstall, a photoshopped picture of Top Withins, a picture of an unidentified derelict church, and a picture of a reservoir near Manchester when talking about Haworth and the Brontes?

    • Its because the post is about how Haworth and the surronding area would have been if the Bronte sisters had never published their work ,its obviously impossible to use images of modern Haworth because it has been shaped by the Bronte legacy.If you read the post closely you will see I examined other similare villages and towns in the locality hence the use of Heptonstall .The windfarm at Top withins image is one I have used from elsewhere but shows the most likely situation for the large proposed Windfarm which is now to be situated Thornton moor /Denholme this is gain had the Brotnes never lived.The resevoire at Wycoller is a known probabilty without the link between Ferndean/Brontes /Jane Eyre Wycoller would almost certainly have been the site of a resevoire as it was proposed as a good situation because there were almost no residents to be moved ,the plan was abolished because of the link between Hartley /Cunliffe Hall at Wycoller with the Brontes.The posts were part of a look at the Brontes influence ,While lighthearted in tone it shows the great debt the area owes to the sisters .

    • Hi Sorry I am not sure where the church is I used the photo because it was a free use image of a similare neo gothic church,I used Entwistle Resevoire because I know the place and it was fairly similare location,I know that Wycoler doesnt have as many trees but many of the trees were planted after the resevoire at Entwistle so I felt it a fair assumption that trees such as those near upper heights would have been planted around the resevoire edges

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