Brontë family connection. Four members of the literary family were born here at 72-74 Market Street.
In 1815 Reverend Patrick Brontë, father of the writers Charlotte, Emily and Anne, moved into this house (built in 1802 and at that time the parsonage) with his wife Maria and their older daughters Maria and Elizabeth. In those days Thornton was little more than a hamlet; in 1800 it had only 23 dwellings (and three of those were pubs!) The Brontës stayed for five years and then moved to Haworth, and it is Haworth's parsonage that has the more famous association, as it is now a museum.
In the mid-1800s Thornton started to grow, as the local handloom weaving trade gave way to textile mills. Stone quarrying and the mining of coal and fireclay were also important industries. Growth demanded more local services. The Thornton house was altered in 1898 when the front extension was built and it was then used as a butcher's shop. It has also been a restaurant. The house was restored in the 1990s by the crime novelist Barbara Whitehead, and was opened to the public, but it is now a private residence.
For those of a curious mind, the Haworth Village website has pictures of the interior - see here.
This is the Thornton Challenge, Day Two - in which Alan Burnett and I agreed to explore the same village at different times and from our own perspective and then share what we each 'saw'. For Alan's eye view, please go to his blog NEWS FROM NOWHERE.