Former Cross Stone Parsonage, Todmorden


Here I am up a steep winding hill near Todmorden Golf Club. This house was once a parsonage and the Bronte children came here to visit their uncle John Fennell in September 1829. They came with their Aunt Branwell and stayed for a few days. Charlotte's earliest surviving letter was written here. She was 13 years old when she wrote to her dad telling how they spent their time "very pleasantly, between reading, working and learning our lessons, which Uncle Fennell has been so kind to teach us every day." John Fennell had worked as a curate in Bradford before being appointed to the parish of Cross Stone. The church is a short walk upwards through its privately owned nowadays.


The house is on a steep hill and pounding up there from central Todmorden gets the heart pumping no matter which route you take. Horses and a carriage would have been difficult to control on the road shown so I guess the Bronte's would have left them at the bottom and walked up.