Sunday, 25 July 2010

Quarry Bank Mill, Haworth, East Riddlesden Hall

We were in Cheshire but wouldn't leave the area without a visit to Quarry Bank Mill. Founded in 1784 by Samuel Greg, it was built beside the River Bollin, which powered the mill's machines. The profits however, were powered by cheap cotton (picked by slaves in America's Southern states) and cheap labour (much of it provided by pauper children as young as nine who were sent to the mill from workhouses in Liverpool, Manchester and London). The mill building is huge and has many levels. Below is the Apprentice House which Samuel Greg built as the number of child workers increased. The apprentice system lasted well into the Victorian period (1847).

There is one place in Britain to which I have returned again and again - Haworth in Yorkshire. Here Charlotte (Jane Eyre), Emily (Wuthering Heights) and Anne (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall) lived.

The Parsonage (above) was their home and is now a museum. Nowhere has a stronger sense of the lives of its former famous inhabitants than Haworth. Below is the alleyway linking the Parsonage to the top of the town.

The moorland around Haworth has atmosphere in spades, and several local houses are believed to be represented in the sisters' novels. Ruined Wycoller Hall is the inspiration for Ferndean Manor to which the maimed Rochester retreats in Jane Eyre.
Below is the wonky bridge at Wycoller.

Haworth is on the edge of a conurbaton centred around Keighley, on the outskirts of which - an oasis of calm - is 17th Century East Riddlesden Hall. I wasn't that pleased with the photos I took of the hall itself, but I rather like this one - those are dog kennels framed by the blossom.

Later that day we visited the the remains of the Roman town of Aldborough in East Yorkshire, but there's a very little to see above the ground. The area, in early Roman times, was the territory of Queen Cartimandua of the Brigantes tribe.


  1. More wonderful photos, Maggi!

    What is a "conurbaton"?

    I love the "wonky" bridge and the kennels.


  2. Lisabet, a conurbation is created when neigbouring towns grow to such an extent that, in effect, they become one. Look Keighley up in 'Streetmap' and zoom in. You'll see that it has swallowed up Thwaites, Utley, Stockbridge etc. Keighley itself is only just independent of the huge, almost seamless urbanisation of the Bradford/Leeds conurbation. Hope this helps.