Tracy Chevalier, international bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring, visits Wycoller Hall to discover how Charlotte Brontë used it as a setting in her most famous novel.
The hall is believed to have been the inspiration for Ferndean Manor in Jane Eyre. It's known that Charlotte Brontë, her sisters and her brother visited Wycoller. The description of Jane's arrival on foot at Ferndean suggests that Charlotte took her inspiration from the path that descended from the old turnpike road, through the trees down to Wycoller village and the hall (http://friendsofwycoller.co.uk). This sunken lane can be followed to this day, starting at the Atom Panopticon (http://www.midpenninearts.org.uk/panopticons-atom).
Tracy Chevalier (http://www.tchevalier.com) was Creative Partner at the Brontë Parsonage (https://www.bronte.org.uk) in 2016, the year which marked the bicentenary of Charlotte’s Brontë’s birth. For this visit, Tracy herself arrived on foot, walking from Ponden Hall, thought to be the real Wuthering Heights, along the Brontë Way.
For events and information on Wycoller Country Park go to http://friendsofwycoller.co.uk
Photo: Stephen Garnett