Top Withens

Top Withens (or Top Withins as it is sometimes known) is widely accepted to be the inspiration for the location of Wuthering Heights – the Earnshaw family house in the book by Emily Bronte. Set high on the moors above the Bronte’s home village of Haworth in Yorkshire it is incredible to believe that people were able to make a living in such a bleak landscape. Even on a summer evening it is far colder and windier than further down the valley.

Top Withens 1
Top Withens 1 – click to enlarge

Built in the second half of the 16th century the farmhouse was inhabited until 1926 and is now derelict. Because of its literary and historical importance it hasn’t been completely left to rack and ruin. Despite it’s remote setting it is a popular tourist destination for Bronte fans and a lot of work has been done to make sure it doesn’t completely succumb to the elements.

Top Withens 2
Top Withens 2 – click to enlarge

For me the charm and mystique of the place is because of its ruinous state and in my opinion too much restoration work has been done. You will notice that all my shots are from the same direction and this is because from the other side you can clearly see modern work that has been done to strengthen and rebuild the structure. A part of the building has even been made into a shelter for ramblers.

Top Withens 3
Top Withens 3 – click to enlarge

I took a lot of photos with both my film camera and my digital camera but all the photos here are digital with a fair amount of post-processing done to boost the contrast as the light, although not flat, was not particularly dramatic.

Top Withens 4
Top Withens 4 – click to enlarge

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