A scratching on a window pane, the fingers of a small ice-cold hand, a melancholy voice begging to be let in. The looks of Cathy’s ghost at first of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights is acquainted to hundreds of thousands of readers and devotees of the 19th-century literary sisters. Now the home that’s believed to have impressed the scene on the window is up on the market, though fanatics might want to discover £1m for this piece of Brontë heritage.
The homeowners of Ponden Corridor – a Grade II* listed property in Stanbury, close to Haworth in West Yorkshire, and a thriving B&B – are retiring and downsizing greater than 20 years after taking over the then-dilapidated home and thoroughly restoring it. The corridor was owned by the Heaton household, who have been trustees of Haworth parish church the place Patrick Brontë, the sisters’ father, grew to become vicar in 1820.
“He would have been in pretty common contact with the Heatons, and the youngsters would have grown up figuring out the home,” mentioned Ann Dinsdale of the Brontë Society. “Ponden Corridor had a extremely superb library, and we all know the Brontës have been avid readers. It’s troublesome to think about they might have let the chance to borrow books slip by.”
Throughout a cataclysmic mudslide attributable to days of rain culminating in a heavy storm in 1824, three of Brontë youngsters – Anne, Emily and their brother Branwell – and a servant sought shelter at Ponden Corridor. Components of the home inside are thought to have discovered their approach into descriptions in Wuthering HeightsEmily’s solely novel, and The Tenant of Wildfell Corridor by her youthful sister, Anne.
“It’s troublesome to understand how effectively they might have identified the inside of the home, however within the well-liked creativeness it stands for each Wuthering Heights and Wildfell Corridor. There are fairly apparent parallels between the Heaton household and the Earnshaws of Wuthering Heights. [Ponden Hall] is an extremely atmospheric home, and if it wasn’t the mannequin for Wuthering Heights, it ought to have been,” mentioned Dinsdale.
One room incorporates a small window within the gable wall which inserts the outline in Wuthering Heights
He stretches out “to grab the importunate department; as a substitute of which, my fingers closed on the fingers of a bit of, ice-cold hand. The extraordinary horror of nightmare came visiting me: I attempted to attract again my arm, however the hand clung to it, and a most melancholy voice sobbed, ‘Let me in – let me in!’”
Mr Lockwood additionally describes an oak closet containing a mattress within the room. Julie Akhurst, Ponden Corridor’s present proprietor, found historical paperwork referring to the home, which describe a box-bed in a room throughout from the library. She and her husband, Steve Brown, had a reproduction made and put in.
“I began to analysis the historical past of the home, and progressively discovered increasingly more,” Akhurst mentioned. “It’s clear that Wuthering Heights wasn’t primarily based solely on Ponden Corridor – the situation is improper – however was a composite of various homes.”
The couple opened Ponden Corridor, which dates from 1634, as a B&B six years in the past. “We get a number of Brontë fanatics from everywhere in the world staying. Some are full fanatics. In all probability the very best knowledgeable visitor was a girl from Vietnam.”
The home has been utilized by the Brontë Society for conferences and workshops as a result of the Brontë household parsonage, house to the Brontë museum, is relatively small.
“This has been an exquisite household house for us, after which a enterprise, however it’s time to maneuver on,” mentioned Akhurst. The couple are hoping to relocate to Sweden. “We really feel we’d like a whole break. It could be onerous to depart Ponden however reside close by, because it means a lot to us.”