This is an archived press release
Friday 8 April 2016
Historic North Lees Hall near Hathersage is to open its doors to the public to mark the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Bronte’s birth.
Born in April 1816, Charlotte Bronte is the Victorian novelist best known for her book Jane Eyre. North Lees Hall is thought to have been the inspiration for Bronte’s Thornfield Hall which features as the atmospheric home to hero Mr Rochester in the novel.
The open heritage event is on the weekend of April 23 and 24, from 11am to 3pm on both days. There will be refreshments and activities for children.
The event is being organised by the Peak District National Park who own and manage North Lees Hall as part of the Stanage-North Lees estate. Donations will be taken on the day towards looking after Stanage-North Lees.
Peak District National Park chief executive Sarah Fowler said: “We’re delighted to help mark the bicentenary celebrations of Charlotte Bronte’s birth and to keep the local connection alive.
“North Lees Hall is a truly unique place and we hope people who come to visit it will see for themselves where Charlotte gained her inspiration – you never know, it might spur on a new generation of writers.”
Charlotte Bronte is known to have paid several visits to North Lees Hall while staying with a friend in Hathersage and describes the building’s battlemented façade, the view from the roof and the Apostles Cabinet – a unique piece of furniture belonging to the Eyre family which Charlotte later purchased and moved to her family home in Haworth, Yorkshire, where it can still be seen.
The Eyres were a local family who lived at North Lees for two generations during the 15th century and took up the tenancy again in 1750 and lived there until 1882.
North Lees Hall is an Elizabethan tower house dating back to the 1590s. The three principal rooms have Elizabethan features and are linked by a spiral staircase made of elm. The roof terrace provides panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
Parking for the event is at Hollin Bank Car Park (free to Stanage Sticker holders) below Stanage Edge with a ten minute walk to the Hall on footpaths and tracks. Or people may park in Hathersage and take a twenty minute walk on a track and small road. Disabled parking (Blue Badge holders) only at the Hall.
More information is at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/stanage-northlees