The subject was The History of the Withins Farms, 1567-1930 . Most Society members tramp up to Top Withins at some time, usually in good weather. Steve Wood read a few minds when he suggested that perhaps we should have made good use of the fact that the moors around Haworth and Stanbury were significantly bucolic and that the talk should have taken place on the tops, near the set of restored ruins which are possibly one of the inspirations for Wuthering Heights. But then it would have been awkward for him to show us the old
photos, and the drawings.
We saw a set of three farms in various states of repair - not only Top Withins, but Middle Withins and Low Withins as well. Only Top Withins remains, the other two having been demolished. Steve gave us a brief survey of the families which had once survived up there, some of them managing hay meadows and keeping cattle, some of them installing hen coops and pigsties. The animals had to come in with the human inhabitants, separated by walls and doors. We saw the careful plans which Steve had drawn. It would have been almost comfortable in winter in the bothy, near the beasts' heat. In one photo, oatcakes could be seen, draped over a beam to dry. They lived mainly on porridge and oatcakes, it seems. Even the dogs were served porridge. Read more: Bronte Parsonage.blog