Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Haworth History Tour

Richard Wilcocks writes:
The text on the back cover of this useful little book of historic photographs seems at first sight to contradict that of the introduction inside: “Behind the tourist village of today lies a long history of people making a living from the uncompromising moorland of this area” and “It is a Pennine village that made its living from farming, stone quarrying and textile manufacture.” That is, until you remember that the village goes back a thousand years. Tourists, especially the Brontë enthusiasts amongst them, tend to bear the moorland in mind rather than the industry, perhaps for obvious reasons.

The book could easily be slipped into a coat pocket or handbag, and used by anyone who does not feel like toiling up to Top Withins or sipping tea in cafés but who does want to know something about local history which is not necessarily linked to the Parsonage. Sensible shoes are needed, and possibly a strong interest in the industrial revolution, because many of the places depicted in it are from the nineteenth century. Some of them no longer exist.

West End Quarry, for example, one of four on Penistone Hill, is now a series of grassy humps, and Well Street – so called from three large water troughs that used to be there – was “another casualty of clearance mania”, possibly not an unfortunate casualty, because the water was so foul that even the cattle refused to drink it.

Many buildings have hardly changed at all over the years, for example The Black Bull, and it is good to find little snippets of information connected with it like “Max Beerbohm took lunch here with Thomas Hardy’s widow in 1931.” It was also good to find so many interesting people mentioned, for example Manasseh Hollindrake, who ran a draper’s shop at number 111 Main Street from 1860 to 1897. One old photo which is likely to be familiar to Brontë Society members is that of the old church, most of which (except for the ancient tower) was built in 1755. The current one dates from 1881.

There is a useful map in the first few pages as well.

Haworth History Tour by Steven Wood and Ian Palmer
Amberley Publishing
ISBN 978 1 4456 4627 5 (print)

ISBN 978 1 4456 4628 2 (ebook)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This should be a useful guide for my annual visit to Haworth 5 - 7 June for the AGM weekend. There might be time to tour around in between some of the Society's events.