House that ‘inspired’ Wuthering Heights on sale for more than £1m

Emily Brontë is said to have regularly used the library at Ponden Hall

Sabrina Barr
Wednesday 06 March 2019 16:29
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Ponden Hall the house that 'inspired' Wuthering Heights

The house that is widely believed to have provided inspiration for Emily Brontë when writing 19th century classic Wuthering Heights is on sale for more than £1m.

Ponden Hall, located outside Stanbury in West Yorkshire, dates back to 1541. The Grade II listed building, which measures 5,000sq ft, played host to Brontë and her family during her childhood.

Sisters Emily, Anne and Branwell Brontë sought refuge in the house during the Crow Hill Bog Burst, a mudslide that occurred following heavy rainfall in 1824.

Their father Patrick Brontë, an Irish Anglican priest, later spoke about the incident in a sermon, describing the adverse weather as an "extraordinary eruption of mud and water".

The library at Ponden Hall, which was regarded as "the finest in West Yorkshire", was particularly appealing to Brontë, who began writing along with her siblings as a young child.

While the appearance of Ponden Hall doesn't match the description of Thrushcross Grange in Wuthering Heights, it does bear similarities with the farmhouse that takes its name after the title of the novel.

"Wuthering Heights is the name of Mr. Heathcliff's dwelling. 'Wuthering' being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather," Mr Lockwood narrates in the first chapter of the book.

Winifred Gérin, who was a biographer for the Brontë sisters and their brother, believed that Ponden Hall also inspired the fictional Wildfell Hall, which appears in Anne Brontë's 1848 novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

The main guest bedroom of Ponden Hall features a small, single-paned window within a wooden, panelled box bed.

This feature bears similarities to the window that appears in Wuthering Heights, when the ghost of Catherine Earnshaw is described as trying to claw through the glass.

“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 passage from the book reads, as narrated by Mr Lockwood.

In 1896, a man called William Davies published an account describing an encounter he had with Brontë's father, Patrick Brontë, in 1858.

Patrick Brontë gave Davies a tour of Haworth, the village in which Ponden Hall is situated.

"We were told [Ponden Hall] was the original model of Wuthering Heights, which indeed corresponded in some measure to the description given in Emily Brontë’s romance," Davies wrote in his account.

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In 2014, Ponden Hall was converted into a bed-and-breakfast.

Having been renovated over the past 20 years, Ponden Hall now features nine bedrooms and provides a panoramic view of the Ponden Reservoir and surrounding open countryside.

Ponden Hall is currently on sale for £1,250,000. For more information, click here.

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