From the buildings that inspired her first novel Jane Eyre, to the house where she contracted a fatal illness, Historic England has relisted 7 buildings which witnessed the life of English novelist Charlotte Brontë, born 200 years ago today.
These buildings were already on The List but now their entries have been updated to reflect their associations with Charlotte. Today we’re celebrating and marking the history of this important novelist
Haworth Parsonage, Haworth, West Yorkshire, listed Grade I
The Grade I listed Haworth Parsonage was home to Patrick Brontë and his three literary daughters Charlotte, Emily and Anne from 1820 onwards. It was in this house that, as children and young adults, the Brontë sisters, with their brother Branwell wrote stories and poetry.
The sisters’ most famous novels were written here, including Charlotte’s Jane Eyre, Emily’s Wuthering Heights and Anne’s Agnes Grey, all in 1847. Charlotte died in the Parsonage on 31 March 1855
North Lees Hall, Derbyshire, listed Grade II*
In 1845 Charlotte visited the ancestral home of the Eyre family, who inspired the name of Charlotte’s first heroine. Here she learned of a mad woman who had once been kept in an upstairs room, giving her the inspiration for Mr Rochester’s Thornfield Hall in her first and most famous novel Jane Eyre.
The Vicarage, Hathersage, Derbyshire, listed Grade II
During this visit to Derbyshire in the summer of 1845 she stayed with an old school friend at the Grade II listed Vicarage in the village of Hathersage which was immortalised in her novel as Morton.
Stone Gappe, Lothersdale, North Yorkshire, listed Grade II*
Stone Gappe is thought to be the inspiration for Gateshead Hall, the unhappy childhood home of Jane Eyre. Charlotte moved to Stone Gappe in 1839 to be the governess to the Sidgwick family’s children. But she hated the position and after just a few weeks returned home to Haworth.
Gawthorpe Hall, Ightenhill, Lancashire, listed Grade I
Built in the early 17th Century, this Grade I listed country house was owned by Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth in the 1850s. He befriended Charlotte and introduced her to Elizabeth Gaskell, her fellow novelist and future biographer. It is thought that Charlotte caught a chill whilst walking in the grounds of Gawthorpe which led to her death in 1855.
Numbers 72 and 74 Market Street, Thornton, listed Grade II*
This was the birthplace of Maria and Patrick Brontë’s four youngest children, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne. It was home to the Brontë family from 1815 when Patrick was curate at the church of St James in Thornton, until 1820 when the family moved to Haworth.
Ruins of the Chapel of St James, Old Bell Chapel, Thornton, listed Grade II
The ruined chapel of St James, also known as the Old Bell Chapel, is traditionally dated to 1612 because it includes a stone inscribed with this date but it also includes stones dated to 1587 and 1756.
The Rev Patrick Brontë was curate of the chapel from 1815 to 1820 when the family moved to Haworth. Brontë oversaw the partial rebuilding of the chapel in 1818, including the addition of the bell turret. And it was here that his three literary daughters were baptised.