The estate that plays a role in much of the Brontë sisters’ stories is on the market, and though they never lived there themselves, all three of the sisters spent time at Ponden Hall in Stanbury, Yorkshire.
Harper’s Bazaar says that the farmhouse and property known as Ponden Hall is thought to be the inspiration for not one, but three properties in the novels of the Brontës, including the eponymous home in Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë as well as Thurcross Grange in the same novel, and Wildfell Hall in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë.
The current owners transformed the farm into a B&B, but are retiring and looking for a smaller property to call home. The nine-bedroom home near the village of Haworth (where the family home and museum are preserved) is popular with the fans of the sisters who make their own literary pilgrimages to the region, with the most popular room being reminiscent of a description in Wuthering Heights. The Earnshaw room features a tiny east gable window which matches the one that Cathy’s ghost scratches on in an effort to gain access.
Current owner Julie Akhurst believes that the view from this room is what Emily Brontë had in mind when she wrote that scene.
Ponden Hall, North Yorkshire is for sale! The house that became the fictional setting of Wuthering Heights is going under the hammer. Holiday home anyone? JCDEnglish will be your first guests! #JCDyear13 #JCDyear12https://t.co/KXwyOP78VS pic.twitter.com/AkxHBJkqdD
— English | Jumeirah College (@JCD_English) March 10, 2019
“We think that Emily based that scene on this room because old documents relating to the house describe a box bed in a room across from the library and you can see where it was bolted to the wall by the window. It is just how it is described in Wuthering Heights.”
Brontë biographer Winifred Gerin believes that Anne Brontë’s Wildfell Hall is the closest match in the sisters’ catalog to Ponden Hall, where the sisters sought shelter from the mudslide and storm (great Crow Hill Bog Burst) of 1824 in the hall’s peat loft. After forming a bond with the owners, the Heatons, they regularly borrowed books from the house’s library.
The Yorkshire Post says that Julie Akhurst and Steve Brown have been the perfect caretakers of the property, as Julie is an English literature graduate with a fascination for all things Brontë. The property sits on the edge of a moor with a pond and reservoir which helped seal the deal for the couple.
For the die-hard fan, the bookshelves and the library, described by the sisters as “the finest library in the West Riding,” are still in place.