The cottage is thought to have been built by John Brown sexton and stonemason in the 1830's. John Brown was the Worshipful Master of the Three Graces Masonic Lodge in Haworth where he introduced Branwell Bronte to the lodge.John Brown was also associated in drinking exploits with Branwell. So Branwell Bronte would have been a regular visitor.
Arthur Bell Nicholls lodged in this house for the nine years before his marriage to Charlotte Bronte. It was here he read the book Shirley written by Charlotte Bronte. Roars of laughter and stamping of feet were heard as he read about the character based on himself causing the wife of John Brown to think "he had gone wrong in the head". After Charlotte and Arthur were married they lived at the parsonage.