Haworth Parsonage home of the Brontës ready to reopen after £60,000 restoration

By Culture24 Reporter | 18 January 2013
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The famous Haworth Parsonage home of the Brontës was once given a facelift by Charlotte during the 1850s. But when it reopens in February, following an overhaul using the latest historical analysis and costing £60,000, it will have enjoyed its first major redecoration for 25 years.

A photo of an ancient country house with a graveyard visible in the picture foreground
The Brontë Parsonage seems in for an exciting 2013© The Bronte Parsonage Museum
Informed by watercolours and letters made by the literary sisters, academics at the University of Leicester have taken a scientific approach in returning the house to its mid-19th century look.

A photo of a historic drawing room with a wooden table covered in writing utensils
© The Bronte Parsonage Museum
Features introduced by Charlotte, originally paid for with the returns from Jane Eyre, Shirley and Villette, have also been restored.

“This is one of the most exciting projects to take place at the Parsonage in many years,” says Ann Dinsdale, the Collections Manager at the Yorkshire attraction, reflecting on a project completed after two years of “rigorous” research.

“There have been attempts in the past to present the Parsonage as the Brontës’ home, but no serious archaeological work has ever been carried out before.

“Objects from the Brontë Society collections will be displayed for the first time in this new context and familiar works will be reinterpreted. The rooms of the house are going to be transformed and may well surprise our visitors”.

Bespoke wallpapers, new curtains and “painstakingly” woven rugs are among the highlights of a process Professor Ann Sumner, the new Executive Director of the Parsonage, has relished during her early tenure.

“We now know so much more about how the Parsonage was presented when the Brontë family lived here,” she says.

“We are pleased to be working with [designer] Allyson McDermott, benefitting from her wealth of experience of restoring historic interiors.

“The newly refurbished rooms will enormously enhance the visitor experience at the Parsonage Museum and have inspired a wealth of learning events and an exhibition in 2013”.

The Society says it has been a “singular opportunity” to find out more about the sisters and their home. The Parsonage will reopen with a range of new displays on February 9.

More pictures:

A photo of a grey stone country house with grave stones visible in the foreground
© The Bronte Parsonage Museum
A photo of a grey stone country house with a grey stone wall and green lawns visible
© The Bronte Parsonage Museum
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