Grade II*-listed hall that inspired Wuthering Heights on sale for £1m

Grade II*-listed 10-bedroom hall that inspired Emily Bronte to write Wuthering Heights goes up for sale for £1million

  • Ponden Hall in Stanbury, near Haworth in West Yorkshire, has now gone on the market for £1million
  • The historic property dates back to 1541, with main hall built in 1634 and belonged to Heaton family 
  • They were trustees of the same parish church where Patrick Brontë, father of Emily Brontë, was the vicar
  • She and sisters Anne, Charlotte and brother Branwell more than likely visited Ponden Hall as children
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë is said to have been inspired by her knowledge of the property

A sprawling Grade II listed property that inspired the setting for Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights has gone on sale for £1million.

Ponden Hall in Stanbury, near Haworth in West Yorkshire, has fascinating and well-documented connections to Brontë, who is said to have based parts of the Lintons’ Thrushcross Grange and Heathcliffe’s farmhouse in her 1847 novel on the impressive house.

The property has been operating as a thriving B&B for the last six years and is set across four acres of land.

Ponden Hall in Stanbury, near Haworth in West Yorkshire, is said to have inspired Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights

Ponden Hall dates back, in parts, to 1541 and the main hall was built in 1634 by the Heaton family, who owned the property from 1541 to 1898.

They were trustees of Haworth parish church where Patrick Brontë, father to Emily and sisters Charlotte and Anne, also well-known novelists, became the vicar in 1820. 

Ponden Hall dates back, in parts, to 1541 and the main hall was built in 1634 by the Heaton family who owned it until 1898

The sprawling Grade II listed property boasts 10 bedrooms and has been running as a thriving B&B for the last six years

Ann Dinsdale of the Brontë Society, told The Guardian it was very likely the family knew the Heatons well and would have visted the house regularly.

She said: ‘Ponden Hall had a really fine library, and we know the Brontës were avid readers. It’s difficult to imagine they would have let the opportunity to borrow books slip by.’

Who was the ghost in Wuthering Heights?

Emily Brontë

In this famous scene from Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, the narrator, Mr Lockwood, is distracted by a knocking at the window in his bedroom. He believes it is a tree branch, but instead finds a hand…

 ‘I must stop it, nevertheless!’ I muttered, knocking my knuckles through the glass, and stretching an arm out to seize the importunate branch; instead of which, my fingers closed on the fingers of a little, ice-cold hand! 

The intense horror of nightmare came over me: I tried to draw back my arm, but the hand clung to it, and a most melancholy voice sobbed, ‘Let me in—let me in!’  

‘Who are you?’ I asked, struggling, meanwhile, to disengage myself. ‘Catherine Linton,’ it replied, shiveringly…‘I’m come home: I’d lost my way on the moor!

Anne, Emily and their brother Branwell took shelter at the house in 1824 during the great Crow Hill Bog Burst, when thunderstorms and rain caused a huge mudslide while they were walking on the moor. 

Their father Patrick later wrote a famous sermon about the incident. 

In Wuthering Heights a wealthy man called Lockwood rents a grand property called Thrushcross Grange from the landlord Heathcliff, who lives in a remote moorland farmhouse Wuthering Heights.

Ponden Hall has always been identified with Thrushcross Grange and there are details in the book that correspond with that house – such as the room with the window where Cathy’s ghost appears to Lockwood.

But more recent studies showed Ponden is also believed to have inspired the Wuthering Heights farmhouse, which it is more alike in terms of size, style and detail.

An account from the time by a man called William Davies describes being taken on a tour by Patrick Brontë and shown an old manorial farm called ‘Heaton’s of Ponden’ which he was told was the original model for Wuthering Heights. 

There are also intriguing details around the property which suggest it had more than just a minor role in inspiring Wuthering Heights.

One room, for example, features a small window in the gable wall, which more than fits the novel’s famous and eerie ghost scene, when Cathy’s spirit makes an appearance to the story’s narrator, Mr Lockwood, scratching at the glass. 

Having researched the history of the house, present owner Julie Akhurst said there are many other tantalising features, but concludes that Ponden Hall wasn’t the only house to inspire the novellist.

She said: ‘It’s clear that Wuthering Heights wasn’t based solely on Ponden Hall – the location is wrong – but was a composite of different houses.’  

The impressive house has more than 5,000 sq ft of accommodation, currently arranged as a B&B with a kitchen/breakfast room, two lounge/dining rooms, cellar, ten bedrooms and seven bathrooms.

The Peat Loft, which is believed to be where the Bronte children sheltered from the rainstorm in 1824, can be a self-contained annexe, with an open-plan kitchen/living area upstairs and two en suite double bedrooms downstairs. 

The impressive house has more than 5,000 sq ft of accommodation, including ten bedrooms and seven bathrooms 

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