Unfortunately, I am afraid I must relocate my entire life to Yorkshire, England, because the house thought to have inspired Wuthering Heights is now a bustling B&B catering to the Bronte tourist trade—and it is for sale.
Inconvenient, but necessary.
This life-changing news comes to me from the Yorkshire Post. The Brontës were frequent visitors to Ponden Hall, “the grandest house in the area,” whose owners had a lavish library and often loaned books to the literary sisters. The bookshelves are still there; said current owner and Brontë fan Julie Akhurst: “It’s incredible to think Emily would have sat here reading. We have a catalogue of the books that were here then and they probably influenced her. There were gothic novels and books on necromancy and dark magic.”
And now it’s a B&B, run by Akhurst and Steve Brown, who have owned the property for 21 years. “The majority of guests are from America with a healthy contingent from Belgium and others from China, Japan, Korea and Moldova,” apparently. And it sounds like a great place to creep yourself the hell out:
The most popular B&B room at Ponden Hall is the Earnshaw room. It features a tiny east gable window that exactly fits Emily Brontë’s description in Wuthering Heights of Cathy’s ghost scratching furiously at the glass trying to get in.
The words of the story’s narrator, Mr Lockwood, still gives readers goosebumps: “I muttered, knocking my knuckles through the glass, and stretching an arm out to seize the importunate branch; instead of which, my fingers closed on the fingers of a little, ice-cold hand.”
“We think that Emily based that scene on this room because old documents relating to the house describe a box bed in a room across from the library and you can see where it was bolted to the wall by the window. It is just how it is described in Wuthering Heights.
So if anybody wants to loan me £1.25 million, I’d be eternally grateful and reserve you the Earnshaw room anytime you want it!