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The English Farmhouse That May Have Inspired ‘Wuthering Heights’

The house is currently up for sale so Atlas Obscura wrote a small piece about its history.

EMILY BRONTË’S SOLE NOVEL, PUBLISHED in 1847, largely takes place in two homes in the English countryside: Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights. For centuries, literary enthusiasts around the world have speculated on the inspiration for the titular setting for this gothic-inspired tale, the remote farmhouse of the brooding Healthcliff. The architecture is described so precisely, the thinking goes, that it seems to be based more in reality than imagination. Ponden Hall, a farmhouse in West Yorkshire, England, bears a plaque above its front door that commemorates a grand renovation of the property in 1801—the same year in which Brontë’s novel begins. Given the fact that Brontë and her sisters (Charlotte and Anne, both beloved writers as well) are known to have visited the home’s library—it was then the largest private one in 19th-century Yorkshire—it has long been thought that Ponden Hall was a model for Emily’s tale. Now, nearly 500 years after it was first built, the historic house is up for sale.

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