Haworth Village

Thursday, 26 May 2011

wuthering heights

wuthering heights

haworth village

haworth village

the moors

the moors

the moors

bronte parsonage museum

bronte parsonage museum

haworth village

haworth graveyard

haworth graveyard

haworth village

Yesterday I got an email from the new owners of the Guest House I stayed in when I was living in Haworth Village in Yorkshire, doing research at the Brontë Parsonage Museum. My tiny little cottage room that was home to my laptop, notes and books has been turned into one huge luxury room. I was sort of sad to see this modest little room turned into a glitzy show-piece, but the new owners did a fabulous job on it. I guess I was sad because I had such good memories in the old room, which I rented out from the previous owners.

Every day, I would get dressed huddled near the radiator, put on my big coat, boots and scarf, and lug my laptop, notes and books on my morning walk to the Brontë Parsonage Museum. Without fail, each morning I would run into the sweetest Irish woman and her fluffy little puppy on their daily walk. We would chat about Australia, and how she misses her home too. I would then pop into a local general store, buy a coffee, and hold it close to my chest for the rest of my walk to the museum, to keep warm.

I mainly worked within the library and office of the museum, which is closed to the public. This space was shared by the museum's curators and other staff members, so every once in a while they would interrupt my own work with local gossip, or I would get a gentle tap on my shoulder to be shown something special. I got to see the original tiny 'books' the Brontë sisters wrote as little girls, letters and illustrations they made, their jewellery, and other beautiful bits and pieces that were not yet shown to the public. It was, of course, a thrill.

The library itself was exactly how I would picture an old Victorian library to look like. High ceilings, cosy wooden interiors with a dominating fireplace, large windows and rows and rows of books and archive boxes. Alas, I was not allowed to photograph it. I was so absorbed in the research work, that I barely noticed when the day ended and I had to go back to my little cottage room. My mum would often call me and ask, 'don't you get bored?'. Absolutely not. Haworth Village is small, there isn't even a supermarket, and only a handful of shops. But I was so absorbed in its daily life and the work I did at the museum, it never occurred to me to get bored.

I realise that I've only ever shown one or two pictures from the village, so today, I wanted to show a few more. Maybe because I'm feeling nostalgic after that email. I took three cameras with me to Haworth, and I love the different range and style of photos they each produce. Although some photos I feel are too personal to share.

Since I'm feeling sentimental at the moment, please do share your own travel stories with me. Have you been to a place you'll never forget?


SJ said...

England really is beautiful. I have similar fond memories of living on a farm in Cornwall for a month. We lived in a little caravan, picked vegies, helped the owner and just enjoyed being out of the city for a little while. It was probably my favourite part of our time in the UK.

Having said that, riding across Europe was pretty special as well, getting the chance to see such a huge place in a very intimate way. *sigh* i wish i was travelling again right now! Travel really is one my biggest passions.

Marie said...

Looks beautiful! I have some similar fond memories of cold, rainy walks in Glasgow. I spent 3 months on exchange at the school of art and was staying near some gardens with an amazing glasshouse on top of a hill :)

steph said...

only the one i blog about every five minutes! it's safe to say i completely empathise with your nostalgic feeling. thank you for sharing this, it looks and sounds so beautiful.

Niina said...

Thank for this post, it was really special - even among yours. I enjoyed it very much because I tend to attach myself to places very strongly. I think you´ve had very special time there and those images have a flair of magic in them. I was working in a gallery exhibition in Visby, Gotland (Sweden) last September and I already feel nostalgic. I fell in love with that island almost instantly and desire to back. I have no trouble understanding why Bergman lived there for so long.

mnemonique said...

the photos you posted are beautiful and they have some romantic atmosphere!
I would never forget our (me+hubby) trip to Italy. It was extremely hot, we were 6 days - each day in different city. We made so many pictures, ate so many delicious things, and spent time marvelously :)
Monika from

Christine said...

Wow, I had no idea you went there for that reason. What a wonderful experience to be steeped in literary history. Thanks for sharing more photos of the place:)

Felix Curds said...

your time spent in england sounds so romantic and ideal, i'm jealous:)

Danielle P. said...

Your photos are so beautiful that I could look at them forever! I can't imagine ever getting bored in such a place either.

Lately I've felt a little nostalgic of the cottage my parents part-owned when I was a child; it was an old forest guard station surrounded by thick woods, sitting by the edge of a small lake. My sister and I slept in bunk beds in the upstairs dormitory, and I spent my days reading on a rustic log bridge with my bare feet in the cool water. I was able to recapture some of that feeling during two fairly recent stays in cabins in Upstate New York, a region I fell in love with thanks to my sister.

aldrin said...

ah, i love a little nostalgia

Caitlin Rose said...

Thank you for sharing this Hila. I knew you were a kindred spirit, but I had no idea how kindred. The Bronte sisters! how magical. I love your photographs. I'm nostalgic for everything, but I don't know how you went on after living in such a place.

When I was 18 I moved to Galway on my own, and I'll always be nostalgic for that time. I lived in a really damp old thatched roof house with eight other people from all over the world. It all seemed like such an adventure.


Caitlin Rose

lizzie said...

oh man....your photos are beautiful...i'm sorry something beautiful from your memories was changed. every time i go on vacation, i try to meet a lot of people and just be present...not worried about shopping or seeing or doing or anything like that...and almost every time i leave a place, i get sentimental for a moment...i feel like i could live almost anywhere.

Alyce said...

such a sweet memory! Recently I had a similar situation come up when the wee little girl I was an au pair for in Switzerland found me on facebook. Um yeah, she's heading off to college! Made me think of all our little moments and dive back into those scrapbooks. I think little things like that (and the renovations in your story) force you to reflect on how much time has passed. I suppose that's what sweetens the memories :)

Eleanor Albanese said...

I have such a love for all the Bronte novels and loved your recollection of your time in Haworth village. I almost feel that my life has been changed because of the Bronte sisters; they have added a layer of poetry to everyday life.

Tana said...

Very beautiful photos of splendid views that accompany good memories. I love to remember my first visit of france, how i lived in a host family and it was a great experience, i tried to remember every little detail, every sound, it was like melting in the flow of french speech, the morning freshness after the rain (it was raining almost every day) mixed with the smells from bakeries and cafes, how i loved to listen to the names of stations sitting in the tram (i loved how the woman pronounced Esplanade and Faubourg national), little narrow streets, bookshops, siestas, facades of the houses ,abundance of flowers,deco of the flat, my lovely host mum loved very much ladybirds (it was some kind of charm of her elder daughter) so now everytime when i see them i start to smile,so many things. c`est inoubliable :)
merci Hila for this sweet nostalgic post!

If Jane said...

lovely post...oh hila...do you know that i was supposed to be named Jane..after Jane Eyre...(long story short...it became my third name). ;)

P R I M O E Z A said...

just beautiful. my dream landscape really.

Dichotomous Darling said...

What a beautiful place. Utterly beautiful. It certainly sounds like a wonderful place-I can't imagine how thrilling it must have been to see special pieces at the museum.

One day I hope to travel to more-for now I haven't any truly spectacular tales (just basic family vacations in the United States-and no one ever wanted to do what I wanted).

Rebeccak said...

This sounds like such an incredible research trip! I am heading to England to do some rummaging through archives in September, but I'm not sure the V&A or the British Library will offer the same quaintness!

Sally said...

everything you post lately is after my own heart! I wrote my undergraduate thesis on the Brontes. I studied those tiny books....I can't believe you got to see them! My soul has always been drawn to Northern England and Scotland, but I never made it up there when I was in the UK.

The parts I did see captivated me, though. Oxford was charming, magical, temperate, and talk about being steeped in literary history! However, my heart's true home is the Outer Banks, the beaches my family has visited more than other. They're still wild and beautiful, unlike more touristy places.

What were you studying in Haworth?? I'm so interested. (feel free to email me if this feels too long for a blog comment :)

See Hear Say said...

pretty! i remember few of these pics at 'how's your weekend' :)

amy said...

travelling is the most beautiful thing. it's as delicate as a flower, and to each who travels, we learn like a flower. and soon, we blossom.

it's bitter sweet to think of past travelling. i always remember the day before my flight, or backpacking venture. the excitement that spins through your bones. the delight of the next day. the little sleep you get. it's such a beautiful thing.

i wish travelling lasted forever. instead we must always return home. at least we return home with brighter heads, and bigger hearts(most of the time!)

hugs and beautiful imagery! x

sweetness xx
hope to hear from you*!

naomemandeflores said...

OMG, this place looks so dreamy. Really beautiful. I've always dreamed of living in a small town. Maybe someday. I love to travel and just came back from Russia. What a incredible trip!

Ella said...

hila! i'm so sorry it took me a while to reply to your comment! i'm doing well, how about you?! :)

....this looks ethereal, an ideal place to spend your time, i'm sure :)

Sundari said...

Oh what a lovely opportunity. I'm planning to apply (and hopefully receive) a grant to go to New York or London to study nineteenth century photographic processes. I am envious of people that are studying such interesting things. These photos look beautiful, Hila. I especially love the blue-ish tinge in the distant pictures of the town.

hila said...

sj: I didn't have much time to spend in Cornwall, and now I wish I did - it sounds wonderful! The thing I noticed about England the most is the light: the sky seemed 'softer' than it is in Australia.

marie: wow, I'm jealous. I remember hopping on a train from newcastle to glasgow quite often when I was in England. oh it was fun!

steph: ha, nostalgia does hit me quite often these days!

niina: I am most jealous! I'm dying to do something similar, it would be so wonderful.

monika: That sounds like such a beautiful and romantic holiday, lucky you! I bet the pictures are amazing.

christine: my pleasure, glad you like them :)

felix curds: well, there were moments of being unbelievably cold and frustrated at air ports and train stations, but it was generally very nice and ideal :)

danielle: that sounds like heaven! It's my dream to own a cottage in a forest. Just a small, quiet space of my own. One day ...

aldrin: me too!

caitlin rose: it does indeed sound like a lovely adventure. And I knew we were kindred spirits the minute I visited your blog :)

lizzie: yes, I tend to get attached far too often as well. oh well, it's better than not getting attached at all.

alyce: it's amazing how time flies, huh? I swear, looking at these photos, it feels like yesterday, not a few years ago. and I don't feel any older either.

eleanor: I feel the same way, I read wuthering heights as a young girl, and I feel like it infiltrated my life at a time that I needed it. I guess there's a reason why I'm fascinated by it.

tana: oh tana, you've made me miss france so much! I just want to hop on a plane now, money or no money.

if jane: ah, that explains your blogger profile name :) that's so lovely! I always wanted to be named after a heroine from a novel.

elizabeth: the colours of the landscape are so much prettier in person too - the different shades of purple of the heather were incredibly beautiful.

dichotomous darling: it is very beautiful indeed - sort of like midsomer murders, without the murders :)

rebeccak: oh but I'm pretty sure you'll be suitably impressed by V&A and the British Library! Hope you have a great time, enjoy every moment.

sally: I found Oxford to be very beautiful too, but I did feel more at homes in other places in england, further to the north. I was researching the archives at the museum for my doctoral thesis. They have stacks of information about film, ballet, opera and theatre adaptations of the bronte novels, which is not found anywhere else. It took me quite a while to go through all the archives and make all the notes I needed!

laura: yep, indeed :)

amy: I'm usually a mess the day before a flight, I just want to get on a plane and have the packing and preparing stage all over. I really do miss travelling, I hope to have enough money to start a new adventure soon.

naomemandeflores: Russia, wow! how was it?

ella: hello! I'm doing well, glad to hear you are too :)

sundari: I have my fingers crossed for you that you go and get all the funding you need for the research trip. It will be wonderful for you.

annelouiselikes said...

this post really struck a chord with me.

i'm studying museum studies because i dream of a life like this: spending days amongst 'beautiful bits and pieces'. how lovely that would be.

and please consider the comments that this and other posts have sparked as proof that your writing IS good because it makes people care...

hila said...

annelouiselikes: thanks, really, thank you so much. that does warm my heart.

I would love to spend my days amongst beautiful bits and pieces. I probably should have studied museum studies too!

andrea said...

ohh thanks for sharing these! I've never been there despite having lived in England, and it's in my list of places to visit :)

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

My dad's from Yorkshire and these definitely gave me a stab of nostalgia, though I've never been to Bronte country...

Principia said...

these photos gave me shivers! the village looks eerily beautiful I can just imagine Catherine and Heathcliff frolicking about the moors.. do you ever think of coming back?

hila said...

andrea: I hope you get to visit!

emily: I can relate to the nostalgia :)

principia: I do, I really want to go back. Hopefully, one day soon ...

Tracey said...

These photos and memories are wonderful Hila. As I try to work out where I'll be travelling to later in the year you give me new ideas of where I could wander to, and how the best places don't necessarily have to be those filled with lots of pre-existing goings-on ... if that makes sense.

andrea despot said...

your daily routine in this little village sounds perfectly intimate and perfectly wonderful... i'd love to live that way for just a little while. thanks for sharing the pictures!

hila said...

tracey: that makes total sense :)

andrea: my pleasure! it was pretty lovely.

sara said...

i love this story you told, it is wonderful and warm and charming. the photos are equally as beautiful. thank you for sharing it!

i love reminiscing on trips i've taken. i spend a summer in quebec and it was wonderful, trying to speak in my unadvanced french, trying new foods, waking up early before classes to go for a walk in the huge park near my room. it was lovely to be immersed in a different culture for so long.

hila said...

sara: thank you :) I would love to go to quebec one day, sounds like so much fun.