This charming English house is believed to have inspired the Brontë sisters, particularly Emily Brontë. In the 19th century, it was owned by the Heaton family and boasted the largest private library in Yorkshire. The Brontë sisters, all three renowned for their literary work, regularly visited the home.
In size and appearance, the house matches the farmhouse described in the novel Wuthering Heights, the place where Cathy and Healthcliffe grew up and fell in love. Ponden Hall may also have inspired Anne Brontë’s novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, as it matches the description of where the protagonist escapes to when running from her husband.
In the back garden of the home are two now-dead pear trees, said to be planted by a lovesick Robert Heaton, who was trying to win the heart of Emily Brontë. Sadly, she did not return his feelings. Across the moors behind the home is a waterfall that the sisters also loved.
Ponden Hall is now a bed-and-breakfast that pays homage to the Brontës. One of the rooms (the “Earnshaw Room”) boasts the “Cathy Window,” the window described by Emily Brontë in Wuthering Heights where (spoiler alert) the ghost of Cathy struggled to get in. Visitors can enjoy a lovely walled garden, a nearby lake, the moors, and a Brontë museum in the nearby town of Haworth.
Know Before You Go
The now bed-and-breakfast has more than literary ties: the home dates back to the 1500s and boasts many of the original detailing. The staff offer tours of the home and the nearby land. In 2019, the house was put up for sale.