Skip to main content
Opening times this week:
Monday
Closed
Tuesday
9am-4pm
Wednesday
9am-4pm
Thursday
11am-10:30pm
Friday
11am-10pm
Saturday
1pm-10pm
Sunday
Closed
A statue of the Brontë sisters at the Brontë parsonage museum

A comms trip to Haworth, the home of the Brontë's

Rehearsals are well underway for Underdog: The Other Other Brontë, our co-production with the National Theatre, which is directed by our very own Natalie Ibu.  

To get in the spirit of the show, comms colleagues Lauren and Nat went on a jolly to Haworth, Yorkshire – home of the Brontës – exploring the family history and visiting the misty moors.  

The Brontë bus and the cobbled streets of Haworth

Our trip began with a ride on the very aptly named Brontë bus before a stroll through the town’s high street. We could have easily played Brontë bingo with the amount of references dotted throughout shops and cafés – from the Vilette bakery, to the Wildfell home store. You can treat yourself to a Brontë breakfast, and of course pick up books, bookmarks, bags and badges galore.  

 

The cobbled high street gives a breathtaking view of the moors, and you really do feel transported back to the 1800s; it’s easy to imagine seeing Charlotte pop into the post office to send her manuscript to London or catch Emily on her daily walk through the countryside.  

We’d arranged for the lovely team at the Brontë Parsonage Museum to give us a guided tour and tell us more about where Charlotte, Emily and Anne grew up.

Their father, Patrick, was the parson of St Michael and All Angels Church and so the family lived next door in the parsonage.  

Creativity and imagination were staples in their childhood, with the siblings always writing short stories and inventing worlds and characters they would all throw themselves into.  

This admiration of stories, of course, developed for all three sisters as they grew and ultimately led to the publication of their world-renown work.  

The exterior of the Parsonage museum
A statue of the Brontë sisters at the Brontë parsonage museum
A dress inside the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

We spoke to Sassy Holmes, Programme Officer at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, about how the Brontë’s upbringing encouraged their creativity: 

It was incredible to not only walk around the building that the Brontë family once called home, but to see many of their own belongings – the highlight being the dining table that their famous books were written at!  

The cast and creatives of Underdog on a guided walk
The Yorkshire Moors

Outside the parsonage in the garden, you’ll find a gate which led the sisters out to the cemetery. Amidst a smattering of daffodils and snowdrops, graves show familiar names, such as that of Tabitha “Tabby” Aykroyd, the Brontë’s housekeeper. A Howarth native, research shows that Tabby was in fact the inspiration behind Wuthering Height’s Nelly and Shirley’s Martha.  

After our trip around the parsonage and its grounds, we laced up our walking shows and, led by museum volunteer Stuart, visited the famous moors.  

It was impossible not to feel connected to the sisters and their stories as we quite literally walked in their footsteps, from the parsonage, past the meeting point where Charlotte would often meet her future fiancé Arthur Bell Nicholls after hours, and up the ascent to the moors.  

In the distance, we could just make out Top Withens – a ruined farmhouse which is said to be the inspiration for the location of the (far grander) fictional Wuthering Heights. 

As we reached the top, wind whipping at our ears, Stuart paused to read us a poem crafted by Emily Brontë, who had drawn inspiration from the very ground we stood on:

High Waving Heather by Emily Brontë

 

High waving heather, ‘neath stormy blasts bending, 

Midnight and moonlight and bright shining stars; 

Darkness and glory rejoicingly blending, 

Earth rising to heaven and heaven descending, 

Man’s spirit away from its drear dongeon sending, 

Bursting the fetters and breaking the bars. 

  

All down the mountain sides, wild forest lending 

One mighty voice to the life-giving wind; 

Rivers their banks in the jubilee rending, 

Fast through the valleys a reckless course wending, 

Wider and deeper their waters extending, 

Leaving a desolate desert behind. 

  

Shining and lowering and swelling and dying, 

Changing for ever from midnight to noon; 

Roaring like thunder, like soft music sighing, 

Shadows on shadows advancing and flying, 

Lightning-bright flashes the deep gloom defying, 

Coming as swiftly and fading as soon. 

 

Our visit to Haworth was one to remember and has made us even more excited for Underdog: The Other Other Brontë to open! A huge thank you to the staff at the Brontë Parsonage Museum for their hospitality.  

Underdog: The Other Other Brontë explores the cutthroat nature of the literary world in the 19th century and the jealous competitiveness that bred between sisters. We all know Charlotte and Emily, but what about Anne? Why was one sister left out of the literary canon?  

Woe betide the woman who wishes to be looked up to. 

Tickets start from £12 – book yours now.