A fondness for drink and laudanum, a failure to make a living from writing or portrait painting and a job he had no interest in left Branwell Bronte careworn. But his troubled mind must surely have been eased by his stay at Brearley Hall.
The grade II* listed property, near Hebden Bridge, sits in 44 acres on an elevated plateau with glorious views over the Calder Valley.
Branwell, brother of the famous literary sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, was a lodger at the 16th century manor house in Luddendenfoot, near Hebden Bridge, according to the census of 1841.
“This ties in with the time that Branwell was a clerk in charge at Luddendenfoot station and there are poems written by people, thought to be Branwell’s friends, about the views from the hall,” says Stella Steigeler, who co-owns the property and is a keen historian.
The railway career lasted less than year and was followed by a lost love that sent Branwell into a decline that ended with his death in 1848.
The hall’s Bronte connection is compelling, as is its sale. This is the first time the property has been on the open market since it was built in the early 1600s.
It was bought privately by Ms Steigeler’s father in 1956. “My father grew up up nearby and always envied Brearley Hall and so when he got the chance to buy it, he did,” she says.
“Leaving it will be a wrench. It is the most lovely place and would make a wonderful retreat.”
The property, which is sub-divided into three parts, could form three separate dwellings or one large residence. It is packed with historic features and also comes with a two-bedroom cottage and an adjoining two-storey barn
The house is split into three wings and is in need of some updating. It has six reception rooms, three kitchens, ancillary rooms, a vaulted wine cellar, minstrel gallery, nine bedrooms and three bathrooms.
Outside, there are two double garages, a storeroom, a substantial two-storey stone barn, a detached two-bedroom cottage with single garage, a long private driveway and a courtyard with parking area. The land includes formal gardens, paddocks and woodland.
Simon Wright of Carter Jonas, who is marketing the house, says: “Properties like are rare. It is in a wonderful position and comes with enormous potential.”
*For details contact Carter Jonas, tel: 01423 523423, www.carterjonas.co.uk
Brearley Hall is just over two miles from Hebden Bridge. Mytholmroyd, which is one mile away, has a railway station with services to Leeds and Manchester.