- High Sunderland Hall
- Shibden Hall
- Emily’s inspiration for Heathcliff
Related Novel: Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
Emily Bronte taught for a while at a Boarding School at Law Hill, near Shibden Hall in Calderdale. Dating back to the fifteenth century, Shibden Hall is one of England’s oldest houses.
At the time that Emily Bronte was in the area it was the home of Anne Lister, an independent young heiress who may have helped inspire Charlotte Bronte’s eponymous heroine, Shirley.
It is now a museum owned by Calderdale Council:http://www.calderdale.gov.uk/leisure/museums-galleries/shibden-hall/index.html .
Emily was deeply unhappy teaching – she once told her pupils that she preferred the housedog to them! – but while there she found some of her inspiration for her only novel, Wuthering Heights.
The story of the former owner of Law Hill, Jack Sharp, bears a striking resemblance to the story of Heathcliff…and the nearby large and impressive home of the Sunderland family, High Sunderland Hall, (now sadly demolished), with its fantastic stone carvings around the entrance way, is highly reminiscent of the description of the exterior of Wuthering Heights’, with its ‘wilderness of crumbling griffins and shameless little boys’ (Wuthering Heights, Chap. 1).
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