Raise your hand if you fancy a goth alternative to Jane Austen’s Bath!
The BBC reports that after ten years and extensive renovations, the grand Yorkshire home Norton Conyers is now open to visitors once more. (On very specific days, and they ask that you wear flats, thanks to their fragile floors.) “A late medieval manor house with Stuart and Georgian additions,” according to its website, the Yorkshire Post makes it sound like a real pain in the ass to maintain. For years it was barely heated, and let’s not neglect to mention the “unexpected guests,” including “frogs, squirrels ‘with very sharp teeth’ and the odd fox, pursued by the local hunt, nipping in through ‘whichever door is open.’”
But the house is about an hour from the Brontes’ home at Haworth, and you’d be following in the great author’s footsteps:
This year, the bicentenary of the birth of Charlotte Bronte, Sir James and Lady Graham are expecting renewed interest on the back of the house’s connection with the famous author who is believed to have visited in 1839 and heard the family legend of “Mad Mary” secretly confined to an end room in the attics.
The story goes that she was the inspiration for Edward Rochester’s Creole wife in her 1847 classic Jane Eyre.
The secret staircase leading to the attics can be seen, but is sadly too dangerous for the public to use.
Well, and you wouldn’t want to get stabbed like Mr. Mason. Please note that the Norton Conyers garden can be rented for weddings; it’s your job to make sure the groom hasn’t neglected to mention anything—or anyone.
Photo via screencap.