We can sometimes miss the fact that we are appearing in the national prints! Which is why we were delighted that our Peat Loft guests Stuart and Pat emailed us a copy of last Saturday’s ‘Times’, with this great feature in it by Fiona Wilson – mentioning us! Thank you, Stuart and Pat, and a big thank you too to Fiona Wilson, who wrote such a great piece.

“Before we leave Haworth, there’s one more Bronte house that must be visited. And so we spend a morning with the Akhurst family at their grade II listed home, Ponden Hall, a three-mile walk from Haworth. Julie and her husband, Steve, tell us how they saved the dilapidated home and restored it to its former glory. In many ways this house has more claim than most to have inspired Wuthering Heights. Emily and Branwell visited the Heaton family home, as it was then, to use its library, which was one of the best in the area. Branwell even used it as the setting of a short story, The Thurstons of Darkwell. Others have suggested it is more likely to have inspired Wildfell Hall in Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

The Akhursts have turned part of their home into a bed and breakfast. One of the rooms stands out; Julie points out their Cathy window in the Earnshaw room, which it is suggested, inspired the scene where Cathy’s ghost struggled to get in as she searched for her lover, Heathcliff. Next to the window they have placed an 18th-century box bed, a copy of the one described in Wuthering Heights, and by the window a copy of the family Bible where Cathy wrote her name. For the Akhursts, bringing this scene to life has been a labour of love. Does it even matter if it’s true, I think as I lean on the bed. Where else has a village come together to bring works of literature to life?”

Fiona Wilson