Ponden Hall, Stanbury, England


Ponden Hall. Interior of “Wuthering Heights”
c.1920

Google Street View.

Website.

Yorkshire Post: Bronte shrine for sale with a home and a thriving business

Ponden Hall is a farmhouse near Stanbury in West Yorkshire, England. It is famous for reputedly being the inspiration for Thrushcross Grange, the home of the Linton family, Edgar, Isabella, and Cathy, in Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights since Bronte was a frequent visitor. However, it does not match the description given in the novel and is closer in size and appearance to the farmhouse of Wuthering Heights itself. The Brontë biographer Winifred Gerin believed that Ponden Hall was the original of Wildfell Hall, the old mansion where Helen Graham, the protagonist of Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, fled from her husband. Ponden shares certain architectural details with Wildfell: latticed windows, a central portico and date plaque above.
Wikipedia.

The main body of Ponden Hall was built in 1634 by the Heaton family, originally from Lancashire, but who appear to have settled on the hill below the moors, above the small lake of Ponden, in the 1500s. At some point they built another house opposite, Ponden House (now the site of a guesthouse built on the original house’s foundations) – whether that was before, during or after the building of the Hall no one is sure: the evidence we have is ambivalent.
The Reader’s Guide to Wuthering Heights

Clifford’s Tower, York, England


York, Clifford’s Tower
c.1910
Publisher: Francis Frith

Google Street View.

Much of York’s layout is the result of Roman and Viking construction but one iconic feature is distinctly Norman. The original mound of Clifford’s Tower, with a timber structure at the top, was constructed by William the Conqueror in 1068 as a statement of his power over the region. This building stood for just over a century before being burnt down in one of York’s bloodiest and tragic moments, when, in 1190, 150 Jews were massacred on the site.

Between 1190 and 1194, it was repaired at great expense, and the mound was raised to its present height. The second timber structure was destroyed (this time by a gale) in 1245. Under pressure from his wars with the Scots, Henry III ordered the tower to be rebuilt and strengthened, this time in stone. Master Simon of Northampton and Master Henry of Reynes, the senior carpenter and stonemason respectively in Windsor Castle, were sent up to York to consult on the new design of the castle. The result was a tower some 50ft (15m) high and 200 ft (61m) in diameter. Its design is ‘quatrefoil’, with four overlapping circles, resembling a four leafed clover.
History of York

The large stone tower, which we now know as Clifford’s Tower, was built in the 1250s during the reign of King Henry III.For much of the 14th and 15th centuries, Clifford’s Tower was used as treasury, exchequer, mint, gaol and seat of royal power. During the Civil War (1642-9), Clifford’s Tower was held by the royalists while the city was under siege. In 1684 the tower was reduced to a shell after a fire. Eventually, most of the castle buildings were swept away when a new prison and court were built in the 18th and 19th centuries, leaving Clifford’s Tower as the principal surviving remnant of the York Castle.
English Heritage

Pierrots, Scarborough, England


The Pierrots, Scarborough.
1900s
Publisher: Gottschalk, Dreyfuss & Davis Co, London

Google Street View.

Pierrot troupes, alongside Punch & Judy and pantomime are one of the very few, indigenous, British performance forms – they are an important part of our cultural heritage and folk traditions. The origins of the pierrot character come from the medieval Italian Comedy or Commedia d’ell Arte, as do those of Harlequin & Columbine, whom we associate with pantomime and Mr Punch of Punch & Judy fame. What is unique about pierrot in Britain, is that there evolved troupes of pierrots specifically at the seaside: the story begins with the development of the seaside resorts and the mass market of holidaymakers as the industrial revolution took hold.
Seaside Follies

[The] story begins with theatrical entrepeneur Will Catlin (real name William Fox) whose popular pierrots were a regular sight on Scarborough’s South Bay during the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth. Often referred to as the ‘sad clown’ the pierrot character has a long history – dating back to the seventeenth century, but became popular during the nineteenth century in France and beyond, as a recurring motif in theatre. With a whitened face and baggy attire, the pierrot was a naive, innocent character, whose antics included comedy, mime, song and dance.

Catlin, a former music hall performer first visited Scarborough in 1894, and it was during that time that he formed his renowed group of exclusively all-male pierrots. Whilst his pierrots toured widely – even over the winter months, when they visited a variety of cities and towns – in Scarborough they performed (during the early days) on a makeshift stage on the South Bay. They were not the only pierrot group in town – George Royle’s ‘Imps’ performed a similar act on the South Sands from the early 1900s, but adopted different tactics after being invited to entertain audiences at Floral Hall in Alexandra Gardens. Unlike Catlin’s group, Royle’s performers were male and female, and in their new venue wore period costumes, calling themselves the Fol-de-Rols.
Stories from Scarborough

The Grand Hotel is a large hotel in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England, overlooking the town’s South Bay. It is a Grade II listed building that is owned by Britannia Hotels. At the time of its grand opening in 1867, it was the largest hotel and the largest brick structure in Europe.
Wikipedia.

Bolton Abbey and Stepping Stones, Skipton, England


Bolton Abbey and Stepping Stones.
Postmarked: 1909
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

Synonymous with Bolton Abbey, the stepping stones were the crossing point for the lay workers at the Priory.
Bolton Abbey

The monastery was founded at Embsay in 1120. Led by a prior, Bolton Abbey was technically a priory, despite its name. It was founded in 1154 by the Augustinian order, on the banks of the River Wharfe. The land at Bolton, as well as other resources, were given to the order by Lady Alice de Romille of Skipton Castle in 1154. In the early 14th century Scottish raiders caused the temporary abandonment of the site and serious structural damage to the priory. The seal of the priory featured the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Child and the phrase sigillum sancte Marie de Bolton. The nave of the abbey church was in use as a parish church from about 1170 onwards, and survived the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Building work was still going on at the abbey when the Dissolution of the Monasteries resulted in the termination of the priory in January 1540. The east end remains in ruins. A tower, begun in 1520, was left half-standing, and its base was later given a bell-turret and converted into an entrance porch. Most of the remaining church is in the Gothic style of architecture, but more work was done in the Victorian era, including windows by August Pugin. It still functions as a church today, holding services on Sundays and religious holidays.
Wikipedia.

Established in the 12th century, the Priory community grew and prospered, attracting wealthy patrons, enabling investment in local farms and mills which in turn funded the development of the Priory. The Priory was added to over the centuries, and even had to be temporarily abandoned in the early 14th century when Scottish raiders threatened, and some damage was done to the priory. Restoration and building work were still underway until 1539 when King Henry VIII seized the assets of monasteries across the land.
Dales Discoveries

Weir, Bingley, England


The Weir, Bingley
c.1920
Publisher: F.Pitts, 89 Main Street, Bingley

Google Street View

(The building to the left of the postcard is different to the building shown in the street view and every other picture showing the weir I’ve been able to find. I can only assume it’s a much older picture used decades later on a postcard, until someone who knows something about Bingley happens past.)

A mill extended on the east bank for which a weir was built across the Aire. The water was then funnelled under the mill to power the works which started out as a Corn Mill, a forge and for much of the 20th century was a fat refinery. The mill was demolished in 1984 and the site has now been replaced by housing.
Wikipedia (Ireland Bridge)

The now unused mill race flows under the Northern end of bridge. Here it now serves a pool and weir fish passes to allow fish to cross the weir.
Aire Rivers Trust

Haworth from Stanbury Moor, England

“I know thou wouldn’t rejoice,
To inhale the bracing air,
Thou wouldst break they sweetest sleep,
To behold a scene so fair.”

Haworth from Stanbury More.
1940s
Publisher: Walter Scott, Bradford

Google Street View.

Haworth is a village in City of Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, in the Pennines, 3 miles (5 km) southwest of Keighley, 10 miles (16 km) west of Bradford and 10 miles (16 km) east of Colne in Lancashire. The surrounding areas include Oakworth and Oxenhope. Nearby villages include Cross Roads, Stanbury and Lumbfoot. Haworth is a tourist destination known for its association with the Brontë sisters and the preserved heritage Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.
Wikipedia.

Keighley Shared Church/St Andrew, Keighley, England


Keighley Parish Church
1900s
Publisher: W. Ritchie & Sons (“Reliable series”)

Google Street View (approximate)

A charter of 1168 is the first written evidence of St Andrew Church, Kichalaie (Old English for Keighley) though records go back to the 9th century when monks living in the Minister at Otley served in Keighley. The first church buildings date from the 12th Century and have been replaced several times culminating in the present St Andrew, completed in 1848. The well-established churchyard includes a gravestone dated back to 1690. As Keighley’s industry grew so the town centre church expanded. The relatively modest sized St Andrew’s church was demolished in 1805 and the present larger church was built.
Diocese of Leeds: the Parish of Keighley, p.5

The population of Keighley grew as a market town from the Black Death until the Industrial Revolution in line with the rest of the population of England. The increase in population meant that the medieval church was not large enough. It was blown up in 1805, and a new building erected in 1807. Unfortunately the roof was badly built, so that in 1843 the building had to be demolished and the present building erected in 1848.
Explore Churches

Heath Common, Heath, West Yorkshire, England


Heath Common, near Wakefield
Published: Valentine
Postmarked: 1908

Street View

Located 1.5 miles east of Wakefield the village of Heath lies within the registered Common, a large grassland with areas of scrub, and is a conservation area of historic and architectural importance.

The Common has been open land for hundreds of years, with enclosure fought against by people including the local naturalist Charles Waterton. It gained registered common status in the late 19th century. Five major houses now stand within the village including the Grade 1 listed Heath Hall. Some of the houses date from the 17th century.

Wakefield Council

St. Olave’s Church, York


St. Olave’s Church, York
c.1910
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View (approximate).

St Olave’s Church was founded by Siward, Earl of Northumbria, and is where he was buried in 1055. The church is dedicated to St Olaf of Norway.
St Olave’s is the first church in the world to be dedicated to St Olaf, the former warrior King of Norway, who converted Norway to Christianity and died in battle in 1030. Olave is the old English Spelling of Olaf. The church was given after the Norman Conquest to a group of Benedictine monks who built beside it St Mary’s Abbey, one of the greatest monasteries of medieval England. The ruined nave of the abbey church now forms the boundary to St Olave’s beautiful churchyard.

St Olave’s Church was rebuilt in the fifteenth century but was badly damaged when used as a gun platform during the siege of York in the Civil War (1644). The church was restored in the early eighteenth century. In 1887-9 the east end of the church was extended by the addition of a chancel, and enlarged in 1908. It incorporates the fifteenth century east window. The church is built of magnesium limestone in the perpendicular style. Some original medieval stone can be found in the tower structure.
St Olave’s Church

Selby Abbey, Selby, Yorkshire


Tower & South Transept, Selby Abbey

Street View

It is one of the relatively few surviving abbey churches of the medieval period, and, although not a cathedral, is one of the biggest. It was founded by Benedict of Auxerre in 1069 and subsequently built by the de Lacy family.

On 31 May 1256, the Abbey was bestowed with the grant of a Mitre by Pope Alexander IV and from this date was a “Mitred Abbey”. This privilege fell in abeyance a number of times, but on 11 April 1308, Archbishop William Greenfield confirmed the grant, and Selby remained a “Mitred Abbey” until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Archbishop Walter Giffard visited the monastery in 1275 by commission, and several monks and the Abbot were charged with a list of faults including loose living, (many complaints referred to misconduct with married women). In 1279 Archbishop William de Wickwane made a visitation, and found fault with the Abbot as he did not observe the rule of St Benedict, was not singing mass, preaching or teaching, and seldom attending chapter. Things had not improved much in 1306 when Archbishop William Greenfield visited and similar visitations in later years resulted in similar findings.

The community rebuilt the choir in the early fourteenth century, but in 1340, a fire destroyed the Chapter House, Dormitory, Treasury and part of the church. The damage was repaired and the decorated windows in the south aisle of the Nave were installed. In 1380-1 there was the abbot and twenty-five monks. In 1393 Pope Boniface IX granted an indulgence to pilgrims who contributed to the conservation of the chapel of the Holy Cross in the Abbey.

The fifteenth century saw more alterations to the Abbey. The perpendicular windows in the North Transept and at the west end of the nave were added and the Sedilia in the Sanctuary was added. One of the final additions was the Lathom Chapel, dedicated to St Catherine, east of the North Transept, in 1465.
Wikipedia.

Website