Located in a small town outside Bradford, a city in West Yorkshire lies the Brontë Parsonage Museum. Perched atop Haworth’s cobbled main street, directly next to the graveyard and moors, this museum hosts one of the country’s best collections of literary work.

Most readers are likely familiar with the nineteenth-century Brontë family’s infamous novels, namely Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Agnes Grey by Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë, respectively. The Brontë Parsonage Museum holds so much more history, however.

The Brontë family moved into the eighteenth-century Parsonage after the father, Patrick, was appointed incumbent of St Michael and All Angels’ Church. Patrick’s life is worth an article of its own. Born in Ireland in 1777, Patrick secured his education through a scholarship and was an active writer himself in local periodicals. Patrick moved to Haworth with his wife, Maria, and six children Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte, Patrick Branwell, Emily, and Anne. Unfortunately, in just a few years, tragedy would strike. The Brontë’s mother would die a year after their arrival from cancer, and the two eldest sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, would later contract tuberculosis.

The Brontë Parsonage Museum has housed all this and more. It has been a site of death, celebration, and literary production. The Brontë Parsonage Museum – and its surrounding area – had an enormous impact on the sister’s writing. Whether it be through the employment each sister found in local schools and houses as teachers and governesses, which influenced the treatment of the titular character in Agnes Grey, the nearby mills and factories like ‘the idea of long chimneys and clouds of smoke’ of Millcote in Jane Eyre, or the mysterious Top Withens, an eerie farmhouse on the isolated moor whose supernatural interior possibly inspired Wuthering Heights.

I first visited the Brontë Parsonage Museum in high school while studying Wuthering Heights. I immediately became enraptured with the beautiful scenery and the authentic Northernness of the location. From the barren moorland, the markers of the industrial past, and pastry shops selling Brontë inspired confectionary, the Parsonage is as much a part of the landscape as the railways and mills.

The Brontë Parsonage Museum’s cultural value to the location is not undeniable. It attracts pilgrims from across the globe in the tens of thousands, as evidenced by the Japanese walking signs strangely placed en route to the Brontë waterfall, which we know Charlotte visited with her future husband, Arthur Bell Nichols.

Since my first visit, I have journeyed to Haworth every year. Although the Brontë Parsonage Museum is trapped in time in many ways, almost unchanged in two centuries, the curators always find a way to show the Brontë’s relevance to the North today. Recently, The Parsonage has displayed a selection of Charlotte’s clothing, inviting visitors to compare it with what they wear in the cold location today.

If you want to discover a significant part of English history or understand the culture of the country’s northern region, there is no better place to start than the Brontë Parsonage Museum!

The featured image at the beginning of this post is from DeFacto of WikiMedia.