Brighter future for leaking building with famous literary link

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THE Old School Room where Charlotte Bronte celebrated her marriage with afternoon tea for 500 guests, is to receive £15,000 from English Heritage towards the replacement of windows.

The Grade II listed building in Haworth is one of a group, including the listed parsonage and church, that tells the story of the Brontë family’s connection to the Pennine village.

Currently the Old School Room is only partly used as the roof is in poor condition and rain water is coming in.

An English Heritage spokesman said: “Its current run-down appearance harms the village and the impression left on its many visitors.

“Talks have been taking place between English Heritage and Bronte Spirit about the complete restoration and future of the building and a development grant is being considered so a wider repair project can be moved forward.”

Trevor Mitchell, of English Heritage, said: “This grant is part of a wider commitment from us to help the village become a must-see visitor attraction in the years to come.”

Averil Kenyon, chairman of the charity Bronte Spirit, said: “We’ve progressed from a position where Haworth Parish Church had to consider selling the building as a possible building development site to one of seeing the restoration project become a reality.

“Now we are a registered charity, have a 25-year lease on the building and have been engaged in meaningful discussions with English Heritage not only about the restoration of the building but also creating a sustainable future for it.

“We have plans to open the building to the public from mid-July until the end of August.”

Charlotte Brontë’s celebrated her marriage in the Old School Room in 1854.