Monday, 28 March 2011

Buy Ponden Hall?

Ponden Hall is up for sale. All the details are here.

Richard Wilcocks writes:
Branwell wrote a short story about the house - Thurston's at Darkwall - and used the well-stocked library there along with Emily. She knew the well-off Heaton family which lived there very well. Heaton sounds rather like Hareton, and there is a date plaque above the main entrance which informs us that the rebuilt version of the house dates from 1801, which happens to be the date when Wuthering Heights begins, and this leads some to believe that Emily imagined Heathcliff living there. I like this idea, for the simple unscholarly reason that a few years ago I walked by it in heavy snow...

There is a tiny single-paned window on the east gable. Emily, some believe, had that in mind when she wrote about the ghost of Cathy scratching at it, trying to get in. I like that idea as well, but there is no evidence...

The main tradition, however, is that it is identifiable with Thrushcross Grange, home of the Lintons: it would probably have seemed grand to the Brontës, with few other large houses in the area, but again there is no evidence at all. The Grange was in a large park, too.

The library has been dispersed to who knows where since the late nineteenth century when many of the books were sold off in a Keighley market-place. Perhaps someone there still has a Shakespeare First Folio in an attic.

You would still have to be well-off to buy the place: the interior has been refurbished brilliantly.

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