Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Top Withens

And here we are, at our destination right up high on the Pennine moors, amongst the heather and the sheep. The ruin called Top Withens is not much to look at, definitely seen better days - but it is a literary shrine and every year thousands of tourists make their way up here. (There are so many Japanese visitors that the signposts are in English and Japanese!) Malyss's grasp of English Literature (see her comment yesterday) is very sound - This old farmhouse is reputed to be the place that Emily Brontë had in mind when in 1847 she wrote her gothic novel, 'Wuthering Heights' , about the smouldering but doomed romance between Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw.

There is a plaque on the wall which says 'This farmhouse has been associated with 'Wuthering Heights', the Earnshaw home in Emily Brontë's novel. The buildings, even when complete, bore no resemblance to the house she described, but the situation may have been in her mind when she wrote of the moorland setting of the Heights.' Certainly, Emily and her sisters Charlotte and Anne would have been familiar with the moors and the farmhouses around here; the village of Haworth, where they lived in the parsonage with their father and brother, is about four miles away in the valley.

In a moment of serendipity, I later found (in an exhibition in the Old Schoolhouse in Haworth) this old photo of the farm when it was inhabited - and discovered that I had unwittingly taken my photo from almost exactly the same spot.

13 comments:

  1. Just goes to show good photographers have a common
    inspiration.Nice post!
    I've been to Haworth a couple of times and walked part of this way.

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  2. You're making my day! I LOVE Brontë's books, and I've read them again and again. they are one of the sources for my love for english litterature and England. I think I've read Jane Eyre 12 times, and Wuthering Heights 10..And I DREAM to be one of those tourists that come here..Thank you to be my guide , even from so far away! Ü

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  3. You keep amazing us Jenny.
    Costas

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  4. Very effective coincidence.

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  5. Well, it may have seen better days, but the story behind it tells us a lot more so I can understand why the place is a must see.

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  6. Great post. I think the ruins have a lot of photographic potential. It is a beautiful setting.

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  7. Salut!!!My name is bogdan from Romania!!!
    We can be friends ???
    http://bogdanstelistul.blogspot.com/

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  8. Sorry I'm late. I got distracted by the scenery around here.

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  9. It is really something that you took it from the exact same angle. Very cool. ~Lili

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  10. Fascinating story. I think it's wonderful to look at just as is.

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  11. Hi,

    I would like to use the original old photo of Top Withens in a guide book im writing. Please contact me at

    pondle18@gmail.com

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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