Where Is Thrushcross Grange in Real Life?

The former home of lesbian diarist Anne 'Gentleman Jack' Lister has a connection to 'Wuthering Heights' by Emily Brontë. Photo via It's No Game

Everybody knows Thrushcross Grange is the antithesis of Wuthering Heights, the famous but fictional Gothic house just a few miles from it across England’s Haworth moors. Thrushcross Grange is the landed gentry's haven to the latter's "perfect misanthropist's heaven." 

Ponden Hall near Stanbury in West Yorkshire is always touted as the real-life basis for the Lintons' home. But some scholars would point out that its size is no match for the grand moorland house described in Emily Brontë's novel. Ponden Hall might just have been the inspiration for the farmhouse of Wuthering Heights. 

When Heathcliff and Catherine first peeked through Thrushcross Grange, they saw "a splendid place carpeted with crimson, and crimson-covered chairs and tables, and a pure white ceiling bordered by gold, a shower of glass-drops hanging in silver chains from the centre, and shimmering with little soft tapers."

There is a good chance Emily based Thrushcross Grange on Shibden Hall in Halifax instead. The historic house, built in 1420, is set on 32 hectares of land in a valley just like Thrushcross Grange. 

Emily taught for half a year at a school in nearby Law Hill under headmistress Elizabeth Patchett, a childhood acquaintance of Anne Lister, then-owner of Shibden Hall. Pupils at the Law Hill school would visit the Tudor-fronted house, and Emily would have likely tagged along.

The acclaimed 1992 adaptation, Emily Brontë's "Wuthering Heights" (with the late Sinéad O'Connor no less as Emily), placed Thrushcross Grange in Broughton Hall Estate in Skipton at the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. 

The first talkie adaptation of the novel, starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon, made do with the Wildwood Regional Park in California as the English moors. 

Cotescue Park at Leyburn in North Yorkshire served as Thrushcross Grange on the latest cinematic adaptation of the novel, 2011's "Wuthering Heights" with James Howson and Kaya Scodelario in the leads.

Something tells us this won't be the last journey of "Wuthering Heights" from book to screen. There have been dozens of adaptations of the novel, everything from modern-day, American-set takes to passionate telenovelas. The story of these moor-crossed lovers will always be hot property, as hot as Cathy was ice-cold, waiting to be let in.


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