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Charlotte Bronte visited Hathersage in 1845 to stay with her old school friend Ellen Nussey at Hathersage Rectory, whose brother was the vicar of the village and it was while he was away on his honeymoon that Charlotte arrived to keep her friend company for a few weeks during the summer.

You will probably arrive in Hathersage by car, but Charlotte arrived by stage coach and was met at the George Inn, a stage coach and post stop kept by the landlord Mr. James Morton. Charlotte used his name for the village in the novel where Jane Eyre, starving, exhausted and penniless begs for a piece of bread in exchange for a pair of gloves. Refused help, she follows a distant light across the moors and arrives at Moor House where she is taken in by the Rev. St. John Rivers.

The Vicarage is a solid, comfortable-looking house and remains much the same as it was in 1845. Wander around the small churchyard, read the tombstones and listen to the church bell chiming every quarter of an hour. Charlotte would have heard these same bells and, in the novel, the chiming of church bells herald significant changes in Jane's life. At night the only light on the hill, visible from the Vicarage windows, is from Moorseats (which becomes Moor House in the novel) and is the same light which leads Jane Eyre to the home of the Rivers family. Beneath the kitchen window is where Jane is said to have slumped from exhaustion and where St. John Rivers found her weeping and wringing her hands. 

© Митрофанова Екатерина Борисовна, 2009 |