Today I can truthfully say I’ve been from the heights of the moors on Penistone Crag all the way to the heart of London.  I can’t believe as I sit here at the desk in my dorm room, that just a few hours ago I was standing atop a giant rock overlooking the vast empty moors of Haworth.

After doing some digging online, I found a walk to Ponden Kirk that someone had posted, complete with pictures.  I painstakingly wrote down the directions, and this morning I set out again on my search for the kirk that Emily Bronte calls Penistone Crag in Wuthering Heights.

This time I take the bus into Stanbury to save time.  Then I walk down a very steep hill to Ponden Mill.  Completely deserted.  I’m not sure if it’s still a working mill, but it doesn’t look like it.  A little creepy, I have to say.  But at the same time very beautiful.  There’s a stream running alongside the mill, and horses grazing in a field on the other side.  As I walk down the lane toward Ponden Reservoir, I can’t help thinking what a great walk this would be in the autumn, around Halloween.

I reach the reservoir and it’s here that my directions begin.  Now I’ll find out if I’m going to get lost again, or if I’ll finally find Penistone Crag.  The directions tell me to follow the reservoir around to the west and up a steep hill.  And guess what?  I’m on the very road I was on yesterday before I turned around and headed back up Pennine Way!  Turns out I was going the right way after all.

I climb to the top of the hill and there before me is Ponden Hall – the house that was Emily’s inspiration for Thrushcross Grange in Wuthering Heights.  Dark, brownish stone.  Kind of foreboding but elegant at the same time.  Emily, Charlotte, and Anne had friends here that they used to visit.  And guess who they were?  The Heatons!  I have to wonder if our mason, Joseph Heaton, wasn’t related in some way.  But there’s no mention of him in the history of Ponden Hall that I’ve been able to find.

I continue past Ponden Hall up the hill, pass some old farm cottages.  At the top of the hill is a large, wonderful tree and Height Laithe Farm across the road.  I take the road winding past the tree to the right, up to a metal gate that I have to climb over.  Then along a cart path on which you can still see the ruts of the carts’ wheels in the old stones.

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Ponden Mill heading toward Ponden Reservoir

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Ponden Reservoir

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            Gates into Ponden Hall

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Ponden Hall - Emily's inspiration for Thrushcross Grange

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   Lane leading away from
    Ponden Hall up to
Height Laithe Farm

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           Cart path to the moors

 


Zell
09/01/2013 8:43am

I love, love, LOVE the gothic-ness of Ponden Hall! I want to live there and write dark, Gothic tales....

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Vicki
09/01/2013 2:13pm

Guess what? It's for SALE! Let's you, me, and Dayle buy it and become the new Brontes!

http://www.pondenhall.moonfruit.net/

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Zell
09/01/2013 3:34pm

Haha! Maybe not so far-fetched....Coincidentally, this was just in the Gothamist: http://gawker.com/scottish-castles-are-cheaper-than-new-york-apartments-1227068903

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Vicki
09/02/2013 1:21am

Maybe we get Kaylene and her girlfriend in on it too and make enquiries. hee hee Are we still joking, here?

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