Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

The path to Top Withens,Earnshaw family house Wuthering Heights : Wuthering Heights, a Poem by Sylvia Plaths

The path to Top Withens,Earnshaw family house Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë.
Nigel Borrington

Last week we spent sometime in West Yorkshire, at Haworth the home town of the Brontë sisters, visiting the Parsonage Museum and walking upto Top Withens, the Earnshaw’s home in Emily Brontë’s novel – Wuthering heights.

The old farm house is located in some stunning landscape, the best west Yorkshire has to offer.

This is how Mr. Lockwood in the book describes his first impressions of Wuthering Heights …

Top Withens,Earnshaw family house Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë.
Nigel Borrington

” Wuthering Heights is the name of Mr. Heathcliff’s
dwelling. ‘Wuthering’ being a significant provincial
adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which
its station is exposed in stormy weather.

Pure, bracing ventilation they must have up there at all times, indeed:
one may guess the power of the north wind blowing over the edge, by the excessive slant of a few stunted firs at the end of the house; and by a range of gaunt thorns all stretching their limbs one way, as if craving alms of the sun.

Happily, the architect had foresight to build it strong:
the narrow windows are deeply set in the wall, and the
corners defended with large jutting stones. ”

Top Withens (also known as Top Withins)

Is a ruined farmhouse near Haworth, West Yorkshire, England which is said to have been the inspiration for the location of the Earnshaw family house Wuthering Heights in the novel of the same name by Emily Brontë.

A plaque affixed to a wall reads:

“ This farmhouse has been associated with “Wuthering Heights”, the Earnshaw home in Emily Brontë’s novel. The buildings, even when complete, bore no resemblance to the house she described, but the situation may have been in her mind when she wrote of the moorland setting of the Heights. ”

Wuthering Heights a Poem By: Sylvia Plath

Top Withens, West Yorkshire, England
English Landscapes
Nigel Borrington

The horizons ring me like faggots,
Tilted and disparate, and always unstable.
Touched by a match, they might warm me,
And their fine lines singe
The air to orange
Before the distances they pin evaporate,
Weighting the pale sky with a soldier color.
But they only dissolve and dissolve
Like a series of promises, as I step forward.

There is no life higher than the grasstops
Or the hearts of sheep, and the wind
Pours by like destiny, bending
Everything in one direction.
I can feel it trying
To funnel my heat away.
If I pay the roots of the heather
Too close attention, they will invite me
To whiten my bones among them.

The sheep know where they are,
Browsing in their dirty wool-clouds,
Grey as the weather.
The black slots of their pupils take me in.
It is like being mailed into space,
A thin, silly message.
They stand about in grandmotherly disguise,
All wig curls and yellow teeth
And hard, marbly baas.

I come to wheel ruts, and water
Limpid as the solitudes
That flee through my fingers.
Hollow doorsteps go from grass to grass;
Lintel and sill have unhinged themselves.
Of people the air only
Remembers a few odd syllables.
It rehearses them moaningly:
Black stone, black stone.

The sky leans on me, me, the one upright
Among the horizontals.
The grass is beating its head distractedly.
It is too delicate
For a life in such company;
Darkness terrifies it.
Now, in valleys narrow
And black as purses, the house lights
Gleam like small change.

3 responses

  1. I have been promising to go there for years.

    May 10, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    • Hello Elaine 🙂

      I really enjoyed this walk and the visit to Haworth 🙂 , on the day the weather was great, you can imagine just how a bad or winters day is though up there at the farm building ! every bit as you imaging in the book 🙂 🙂

      If you can go you must, the town is stunning, being from the Red rose county I never did Yorkshire much, this trip showed me however that I have been missing out 🙂

      May 10, 2017 at 9:30 pm

      • Red rose county. Lancashire. I am here to.

        May 11, 2017 at 10:08 am

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