I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas: they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.
Emily Bronte
Wuthering Heights

donderdag 11 juli 2013

Casterton School, the former Cowan Bridge

Not unexpected but sad news anyway from Casterton School, the former Cowan Bridge. In The Westmoreland Gazettte
Nearly 200 years of education for girls has come to an end with parents, pupils and staff bidding an emotional farewell to Casterton School.
The independent boarding school, near Kirkby Lonsdale, merged with Sedbergh School in March with the amalgamation kicking in from September.
On Saturday, British yachtswoman Dee Caffari was guest speaker at a special assembly, which formed part of the annual speech day and prize-giving ceremony.
There were tears as the occasion marked not only the end of term, but the end of an era – the last full day of the 190-year-old school whose first pupils included the Brontë sisters.
Casterton School is an independent boarding and day school for ages 3 to 18 years in the village of Casterton in rural Cumbria. Boys are admitted up until age 11 years. Boarding is for girls only from age 8 and above.


Casterton School was founded in 1823 by Rev Carus Wilson as the Clergy Daughters' School in Cowan Bridge to educate daughters of financially disadvantaged clergymen. It moved to its current site at Casterton in 1833. Four of the Brontë sisters (Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte and Emily) attended the former Cowan Bridge School. A stone inscription to commemorate this is present at the original site and the current Casterton School still acknowledges the literary connection by naming buildings accordingly.
In 2000 boys were admitted to the junior school.[1]
Following a decline in pupil numbers, in March 2013 a merger was announced with Sedbergh School, effective from September 2013. Casterton's prep department will remain on its site as Sedbergh's junior school will be moved there. Senior pupils will transfer to the main campus in Sedbergh.[2]

Wilson, Rev William Carus (1791–1859):

Wealthy clergyman, ordained in 1816 (after having earlier been refused ordination because of “Calvinist” tendencies), the founder of the Clergy Daughters’ School, situated first at Cowan Bridge, later at Casterton (and still there as Casterton School). He was, in many of his aspects, the original of Mr Brocklehurst in Jane Eyre . The school undoubtedly answered to a great need, both educating and where possible finding posts as teachers or governesses for the daughters of clergymen. Wilson was clearly sharp-eyed and intelligent in identifying spheres for action, as in his later concern for British and foreign soldiers, and for the education of servants. His wealth, and the tenacity of his character, meant that he was generally to be found when evangelical causes were being promoted in the North of England. The outlines of a case for him can be found in Wroot’s Persons and Places (1935), where an obituary of him by the then Bishop of Rochester speaks of him as “the father of the cheap religious literature of the day” and its “blessed results,” and sums up his character as “remarkable for energy and a moral courage that was sometimes sublime, a most singular forgetfulness of self, and the deepest humility.” The reason we are surprised by this is attributable to Charlotte’s Brontë’s great novel. blackwellreference 

Nice knowlidge:
Bronte House was formed in 1933 and named in honour of Charlotte Bronte. Bronte was originally called 'Charlotte Bronte House' hence the CB on the badge. Charlotte Bronte based her novel Jane Eyre on Cowan Bridge School, the predecessor of Casterton School


1 opmerking:

  1. Interesting news and article...it's nice to know that the building will still be used for educational purposes, though not boarding. That was quite a long run.
    xo J~


The Parlour

The Parlour



Charlotte Bronte

Presently the door opened, and in came a superannuated mastiff, followed by an old gentleman very like Miss Bronte, who shook hands with us, and then went to call his daughter. A long interval, during which we coaxed the old dog, and looked at a picture of Miss Bronte, by Richmond, the solitary ornament of the room, looking strangely out of place on the bare walls, and at the books on the little shelves, most of them evidently the gift of the authors since Miss Bronte's celebrity. Presently she came in, and welcomed us very kindly, and took me upstairs to take off my bonnet, and herself brought me water and towels. The uncarpeted stone stairs and floors, the old drawers propped on wood, were all scrupulously clean and neat. When we went into the parlour again, we began talking very comfortably, when the door opened and Mr. Bronte looked in; seeing his daughter there, I suppose he thought it was all right, and he retreated to his study on the opposite side of the passage; presently emerging again to bring W---- a country newspaper. This was his last appearance till we went. Miss Bronte spoke with the greatest warmth of Miss Martineau, and of the good she had gained from her. Well! we talked about various things; the character of the people, - about her solitude, etc., till she left the room to help about dinner, I suppose, for she did not return for an age. The old dog had vanished; a fat curly-haired dog honoured us with his company for some time, but finally manifested a wish to get out, so we were left alone. At last she returned, followed by the maid and dinner, which made us all more comfortable; and we had some very pleasant conversation, in the midst of which time passed quicker than we supposed, for at last W---- found that it was half-past three, and we had fourteen or fifteen miles before us. So we hurried off, having obtained from her a promise to pay us a visit in the spring... ------------------- "She cannot see well, and does little beside knitting. The way she weakened her eyesight was this: When she was sixteen or seventeen, she wanted much to draw; and she copied nimini-pimini copper-plate engravings out of annuals, ('stippling,' don't the artists call it?) every little point put in, till at the end of six months she had produced an exquisitely faithful copy of the engraving. She wanted to learn to express her ideas by drawing. After she had tried to draw stories, and not succeeded, she took the better mode of writing; but in so small a hand, that it is almost impossible to decipher what she wrote at this time.

I asked her whether she had ever taken opium, as the description given of its effects in Villette was so exactly like what I had experienced, - vivid and exaggerated presence of objects, of which the outlines were indistinct, or lost in golden mist, etc. She replied, that she had never, to her knowledge, taken a grain of it in any shape, but that she had followed the process she always adopted when she had to describe anything which had not fallen within her own experience; she had thought intently on it for many and many a night before falling to sleep, - wondering what it was like, or how it would be, - till at length, sometimes after the progress of her story had been arrested at this one point for weeks, she wakened up in the morning with all clear before her, as if she had in reality gone through the experience, and then could describe it, word for word, as it had happened. I cannot account for this psychologically; I only am sure that it was so, because she said it. ----------------------She thought much of her duty, and had loftier and clearer notions of it than most people, and held fast to them with more success. It was done, it seems to me, with much more difficulty than people have of stronger nerves, and better fortunes. All her life was but labour and pain; and she never threw down the burden for the sake of present pleasure. I don't know what use you can make of all I have said. I have written it with the strong desire to obtain appreciation for her. Yet, what does it matter? She herself appealed to the world's judgement for her use of some of the faculties she had, - not the best, - but still the only ones she could turn to strangers' benefit. They heartily, greedily enjoyed the fruits of her labours, and then found out she was much to be blamed for possessing such faculties. Why ask for a judgement on her from such a world?" elizabeth gaskell/charlotte bronte

Poem: No coward soul is mine

No coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the worlds storm-troubled sphere:
I see Heavens glories shine,
And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.

O God within my breast.
Almighty, ever-present Deity!
Life -- that in me has rest,
As I -- Undying Life -- have power in Thee!

Vain are the thousand creeds
That move mens hearts: unutterably vain;
Worthless as withered weeds,
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main,

To waken doubt in one
Holding so fast by Thine infinity;
So surely anchored on
The steadfast Rock of immortality.

With wide-embracing love
Thy Spirit animates eternal years,
Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears.

Though earth and man were gone,
And suns and universes ceased to be,
And Thou wert left alone,
Every existence would exist in Thee.

There is not room for Death,
Nor atom that his might could render void:
Thou -- Thou art Being and Breath,
And what Thou art may never be destroyed.

Emily Bronte

Family tree

The Bronte Family

Grandparents - paternal
Hugh Brunty was born 1755 and died circa 1808. He married Eleanor McClory, known as Alice in 1776.

Grandparents - maternal
Thomas Branwell (born 1746 died 5th April 1808) was married in 1768 to Anne Carne (baptised 27th April 1744 and died 19th December 1809).

Father was Patrick Bronte, the eldest of 10 children born to Hugh Brunty and Eleanor (Alice) McClory. He was born 17th March 1777 and died on 7th June 1861. Mother was Maria Branwell, who was born on 15th April 1783 and died on 15th September 1821.

Maria had a sister, Elizabeth who was known as Aunt Branwell. She was born in 1776 and died on 29th October 1842.

Patrick Bronte married Maria Branwell on 29th December 1812.

The Bronte Children
Patrick and Maria Bronte had six children.
The first child was Maria, who was born in 1814 and died on 6th June 1825.
The second daughter, Elizabeth was born on 8th February 1815 and died shortly after Maria on 15th June 1825. Charlotte was the third daughter, born on 21st April 1816.

Charlotte married Arthur Bell Nicholls (born 1818) on 29th June 1854. Charlotte died on 31st March 1855. Arthur lived until 2nd December 1906.

The first and only son born to Patrick and Maria was Patrick Branwell, who was born on 26th June 1817 and died on 24th September 1848.

Emily Jane, the fourth daughter was born on 30th July 1818 and died on 19th December 1848.

The sixth and last child was Anne, born on 17th January 1820 who died on 28th May 1849.

Top Withens in the snow.

Top Withens in the snow.



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