Friday, February 19, 2016

Haworth, Home of the Brontes

This is a story about how my mom and I drove to Haworth in West Yorkshire to visit the home of the Bronte sisters only to discover that the parsonage where they lived is closed for refurbishment in January.  It's not as sad as it sounds.


When we arrived in the village I parked up above it where we could look out on the moors.  The wind was howling and whistling and set the stage perfectly for a visit to Bronte country.  Sadly I discovered that I had forgotten my coat.  It was nearly lunchtime so we decided to eat before going to the parsonage that is now a museum, and that ended up being a good decision not only because it delayed our finding out that the parsonage was closed but because it was the best meal I've eaten in Yorkshire.


I had an amazing butternut squash and chorizo lasagna, the dishes were adorable, and the tea delightfully warming after the walk in the wind.  After lunch we walked through the cobblestone streets in an almost eerily quiet village, the kind of quiet that you only find in the first week of January, I suppose.


All of the bookstores were closed, which was a disappointment because they looked amazing.  And I most assuredly would have wanted to buy the "Reader, I married him." mug if that delightful shop had been open.


Looking back I think the quiet and closed shops should have made me think that the parsonage might be closed as well, but it didn't occur to me, and that doesn't really surprise me.


I was too busy enjoying the pretty doors.


I think most people who read Wuthering Heights for the first time ask themselves what fueled these type of stories?  Maybe it was, in part, the desolate but beautiful surroundings, the shrieking wind, and the graveyard that would have been the view from their front windows.


Being in Haworth definitely made me want to re-read a few novels AND go back again when the museum is open.


You can usually count on the church to be open, and we listened to a man regaling two other women with stories about the Bronte family.


There weren't any stained glass windows in the church during the Bronte's time, but I loved this one donated by an American citizen "to the glory of God in pleasant memory of Charlotte Bronte."


The architecture is beautiful.


It was a bitter walk into the wind going back to the car, but it was so atmospheric I don't think we would have had it any other way.

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