Lancashire is claiming the Brontës with a six month programme of free events to mark Charlotte Bronte’s bicentenary and her links with her neighbouring county.
The events will bring to life the places just over the border which inspired her writing, including the atmospheric village of Wycoller with its ruined hall - the real Ferndean Manor in Jane Eyre.
Pendle neighbours the Brontë moors and the council has launched a programme of 21 events which run until October 30th to mark the 200th anniversary.
Pendle Council’s Brontë enthusiast Sarah Lee co-ordinated the programme, working with Pendle’s Tourism Officer, walk leaders, artists, photographers and storytellers, to bring the area’s Brontë connections to life.
She said: “It’s often forgotten that Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne often walked across the border over the moors into Lancashire.
“Wycoller is just nine miles as the crow flies from the Haworth Parsonage.
“Charlotte knew this area well, drawing inspiration from the landscape, turbulent histories, local news and Lancashire folklore.”
Tourism Officer Mike Williams said: “Pendle is little-known for its Brontë connections, but they are compelling.
“I urge anyone who loves the Brontë novels to come and enjoy a short break and find out for themselves.”
The 21 free events to mark Charlotte’s bicentenary include:
l Explore the Gothic – a landscape painting and photography workshop capturing the melodramatic nature of the landscape;
l Walks in Charlotte Brontë’s footsteps along the Brontë Way and Ferndean Way including some ghost walks looking at hair-raising tales which found their way into the Brontës’ writing;
l Talks around the table oral storytelling workshop on the powerful Brontë themes of the wild moors, love and betrayal;
l A Jane Eyre drama workshop for primary schoolchildren who live within walking distance of Wycoller, led by the Brontë Parsonage Learning Officer, Sue Newby;
l Foraging walk with eco artists to find bilberries, rowan berries, watermint and other wild produce from the moors and Wycoller Dene where the Brontës roamed.
Sarah Dornan, Lancashire County Council’s Countryside Ranger for Wycoller Country Park who has helped with the programme of events, said: “Wycoller is a wonderful place and the 200th anniversary gives us the chance to welcome new visitors and celebrate Lancashire’s Brontë associations.”
The full programme of free events is on www.visitpendle.com with details on how to book together with self-guided Brontë walks and information on places to stay.