Haworth, England (pronounced how-worth) is located in West Yorkshire, northern England. The Bronte family arrived from Ireland in April 1820 where Patrick Bronte became curate of the Church of St. Michael and All Angels. When the Brontes arrived at Haworth, Maria, his wife, was already ill and trying to care for their six children. Haworth was not a healthy place to live. It was 800 feet up in the Pennines. There were no sewers and the water was polluted, contributing to a high mortality rate. The average age of death in Haworth was 25 where 41 percent of babies died before reaching their first birthday.

Haworth itself had a narrow, close-packed street that led upward towards the moors. The high street was so sheer that it was difficult for horses to even make the incline, as though they clambered up boulders. Houses were tightly-packed. Families of wealth and superiority in that region did not take up with the Bronte family and contact with the family may have been limited as Maria was ill laden. The children grew up as strangers and stuck together as a family group. People of Haworth were not wealthy, though their were many prominent families in town. Many of them were employed in the neighboring mills, a few were mill-owners, manufacturers and shopkeepers. Many provided everyday wants, but for medical advice, books, and clothing, the inhabitants had to go to Keighley (Keef-ley) only four miles away. The Bronte sisters seldom went down into Haworth. Mr. Bronte did not wish his family to mix with factory hands.

The Bronte Parsonage was a rectangular house of Georgian design built in 1779 of limestone grit as were most homes in Haworth. This stone soon weathers to the shade of gray. The hall and floor were done with sandstone. There was no carpeting. The walls were not papered, but stained in a dove-colored tint.

Oral tradition in Haworth has it that at the time of Charlotte's marriage, she planted the two Corsican pines which now stand tall in the garden of the Parsonage.

Charlotte, Emily, Maria, Patrick and Branwell Bronte all rest in the vault at the church in Haworth. Anne is the only family member who is buried in Scarborough, England.



 Suggested Reading

The Road to Haworth
by John Cannon

Charlotte Bronte
by Lyndall Gordon

 

Bronte Family | Poem | Photos of Haworth

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