I’ve seen it many times. I don’t live far from it. It’s on desolate moorland. It seems to be hiding away from the world, like something cast out. Even in summer it can look grim there. The only real color is the purple heather that carpets the moors; that’s in spring, by autumn, the heather is brown and wild, driving rain and howling wind is quite common.
A great writer was inspired by the place or so they say. She and her sisters didn’t live far. They walked on these moors quite often; Charlotte and Anne–and Emily with her favorite dog, Keeper. Perhaps she paused to look at the ruins there, for there were ruins at that time.
Legend has it that Top Withens (pictured) inspired Wuthering Heights. No one can agree whether or not that is true. I like to think that it is. I can easily picture Emily standing there and dreaming of the house that would be known as Wuthering Heights.
My inspiration for my first novel, the first in The Blackstone Vampires Series, The House on Blackstone Moor, was inspired by those same moors. Perhaps not by those ruins, though–those I shall leave for Miss Bronte for I would never claim them. The moorland is something else. As I did picture a grand looking house built upon them. A house completely out of place on such grim and lonely moorland. When I peopled that house, I began to write my novel.
If you come to England, please visit West Yorkshire and the village of Haworth. You will find the Bronte Parsonage there. The house is alive with their presence.
Be sure to walk down the old streets toward the moor. Close your eyes and perhaps you will feel yourself being led to Top Withens. Is that a dog barking near you? And that woman–is she really there? Could it be Emily with Keeper, or is it just your imagination? Who can say? If there are spirits about the place, perhaps you will find Cathy and Heathcliff as well. I am certain they are all there and always will be.