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.