|Top Withins - 1920s|
The talk was the result of years of careful study, and covered Top, Middle and Lower Withins, three farms which made up about a hundred acres, much of it rough pasture and much of it probably never used - too rough perhaps. Most farms in the area were dairy, producing milk, butter and a little cheese. Two hundred years ago this would have been consumed by the many weavers and spinners in the area - and because it was not much of a living, the farmers and their families would have done plenty of carding and spinning themselves. There were some sheep, and about half a dozen cows at each farm.
It would have been an isolated life, with long walks down to Stanbury or Haworth, unpleasant and hazardous in bad weather, especially in heavy snow, and especially for any children on their way to school and back in the later years of the nineteenth century. The ruined Lower Withins was finally demolished in the 1930s ("There were plenty of Brontë enthusiasts taking away souvenirs") and Top Withins was fixed into its present state fairly recently, though it seems to have been still quite substantial in the 1920s.