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The Brontës: 1811
Hartshead, West Yorkshire

Reverend Patrick Brontë moved to Hartshead in early 1811 to take up his curacy. He was responsible for the small hilltop village of Hartshead and the more populous Clifton nearby. He lodged at Hartshead until the end of 1812, when he married Maria Branwell.

The woollen industry dominated the area and employed many of his parishioners. In Feburary 1812, angry Luddites smashed William Cartwright's new cropping frames on Hartshead Moor. On the night of 11 April 11 1812, Luddites gathered at the Dumb Steeple, south of the moor, before attacking Rawfolds Mill. Both incidents are recalled in Charlotte Brontë'sShirley.

On the slope of a hill between Hartshead and Clifton Hill stood Kirklees Hall, the 17th-century dwelling belonging to Sir George Armitage, Baronet. A huge, rambling, and unattractive mansion built in a variety of unconnected styles, the house and its estate nevertheless dominated the area. It would later be the model for Nunnley in Charlotte Brontë'sShirley.


Hartshead, West Yorkshire [1 May 1985]


Entrance to Kirklees Park, the model for Nunnley in Shirley; Hartshead, West Yorkshire [1 May 1985]

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