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Land Art landscapes light light quality outdoor sculpture photography sculpture trees Yorkshire

A Family Holiday in Scotland – Part 7 Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The last day of our family holiday, where we spent a week in the Scottish Borders, was spent part way during our journey home at The Yorkshire Sculture Park. This is a favourite place for our family so it was great to all be there together. There are always top quality gallery shows and outdoor exhibitions as well as the permanent collection of outside sculpture all dispayed in beautiful parkland.

Before going out to the underground gallery to look at the work of Guiseppe Penone, we had a quick look at exhibitions inside which we all felt were rather strange except  for Arabella who enjoyed the animals. She loves all animals! See what you think of these.

 

We went out into the unnaturally cool, wet July morning across the gravel display area into the main gallery. This building is so good at displaying sculpture and is fascinating in its own right. The right hand photo of the three below shows part of the first piece we spotted as we entered the gallery building.

  

In the main gallery spaces we were enthralled by Guiseppe Penone’s exhibition “A Tree in the Wood”, each piece holding our attention. The centre piece was a tree carved to follow the natural contours and get into its soul. It was a beautiful piece! The tree was so long that the sculptural piece went through two galleries passing through from one to another.

           

This sculptural piece was one of the most beautiful pieces Jude and I could ever remember experiencing, as the sculptor successfully discovered and enhanced the textures, shapes contours and even the soul of the tree when it was still living. Now this tree will live on for ever, unaffected by storms, freezing conditions and long winters.

But there were plenty of other examples of his tree and wood sculptures here to enjoy plus a few 2D pieces.

    

After hours of being enthralled by “A Tree in the Wood” we eventually moved outside to a very wet parkland. Arabella however who loves puddles almost above all else soon spotted one result of the rain. To enjoy this you will have to await my next post.

 

 

 

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architecture buildings National Trust photography The National Trust Yorkshire

A Family Holiday in Scotland – Part 6 – Fountains

After our great family holiday staying in our cottage holiday home in the Scottish Borders, we took a few days to make our way home to make our holiday together  last a little bit longer. We enjoyed two days in Yorkshire visiting Fountains Abbey and The Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

In this post we will share our day at Fountains. After a wet and stormy drive down from Scotland we arrived in Yorkshire for an overnight stay. Jude and I had not been to Fountains Abbey for years so were pleased to take the family there.

As we wandered down the sloping pathto the abbey ruins we could admire the amount of structure still left standing. It is really impressive.

  

Arabella enjoys life and loves going out and about – outside is where she prefers to be.

Once down among the stonework you can really appreciate the strength of the building and the sheer brilliance of it’s construction.

  

Mother Nature enjoys a good ruin to grow on finding the tiniest crack with a drop of soil in in which to grow.

 

The monks had left us a convenient stone seat on which we could perch for a picnic.

As we started clearing our picnic away the clouds darkened and cold rain drops fell. We struggled to find any shelter from the following storm. Arabella never minds rain because it means puddles, her favourite phenomena. I hope you enjoy this set of photos where she shows her delight at puddles.

      

We just had time to explore the outside boundaries of the site before the closing time closed in on us.

      

We followed the finger posts back to the car park at the end of another great family day out.

 

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garden design garden photography gardening gardens gardens open to the public grasses hardy perennials meadows ornamental grasses ornamental trees and shrubs RHS Yorkshire

Two RHS Gardens – Part 2 Harlow Carr

To visit the second of the RHS gardens we visited during 2017 we had to travel north up to Yorkshire and we stayed near Harrogate, a beautiful spa town. This is the RHS garden we probably visit the most as it is our favourite and we love the area it is situated in. We chose to go up in late summer. We particularly enjoy the Winter Garden and the new perennial gardens and as we had already visited to see the Winter Garden so we needed to see the perennials borders too.

The RHS are excellent at giving a warm welcome to its visitors and we certainly felt that at their most northerly garden, beautiful planters, great breakfast at the famous “Betty’s Tearooms” and cheerful plants as we entered the main gardens, including bright, cheerful meadow planting.

A recent children’s competition involving creating miniature gardens in old boots provided some entertainment at the bottom of the main steps into the garden.

Next we will share moments we enjoyed as we made our way towards the educational centre with its new buildings, glasshouse and plantings.

The gardens around the education centre provide a fine example of contemporary plant choice and plant combinations, starring grasses and tall airy perennials, growing beautifully among gravel, a wildlife pond and a contemporary styled vegetable garden alongside. Even the seating has been carefully chosen to look just right. Nothing has been left to chance!

       

As mentioned at the beginning of this post we were looking forward in particular to wandering around the borders of “new perennial planting” especially as we were visiting when it should be its prime time. So please enjoy this wander with us by following the gallery. Click on the first picture then navigate with the arrows.

 

When we were finishing our visit to this wonderful RHS garden we made our way back for a final coffee before finding our car and returning to our hotel, and noticed a large and very beautiful insect hotel alongside the path. It was an heartening end to our exploration.

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architecture garden arches garden design garden photography gardening gardens gardens open to the public hardy perennials ornamental trees and shrubs pergolas Uncategorized woodland woodlands Yorkshire

Parcevall Hall Gardens – Wharfedale

Situated in Wharfedale one of the most beautiful places in North Yorkshire, Parcevall Hall was really difficult to access via narrow roads, hairpin bends and narrow bridges, but it somehow suited the place that we enjoyed one day in September. The gardens were beautiful and typical of those created in the arts and crafts style, the house being redesigned and much developed at that time also.

The house and gardens sit beautifully on a steep slope which certainly added interest for there was much for the garden team and designer to overcome in the making of the garden, slopes and steps abound. Some of the garden was above the hall, a Rose Garden and the area known as Silver Wood, which hid an unusual rock garden. Below the house terraces were dug into the slope and many different garden rooms created. There was strong design to appreciate and beautiful plants to admire.

 

We walked up from the Garden Office and Tea Rooms after crossing over a tiny clear stream and wandering up through woodland. From a clearing in the woods we enjoyed a view over the rambling rooftops of the hall and all its outbuildings.

   

The woodland was dotted with berried and flowering shrubs many with signs that birds and rodents had been enjoying them.

       

Although the plan we were following meant we expected to find the Rock Garden hidden within Silver Wood it was still a wonderful surprising sight when we first came across it. It was a rock garden of huge proportions cut out from the natural slopes and featured a tiny meandering stream falling slowly down its slope. There were some interesting plants to be found among the rocks.

 

Please follow the gallery below to tour the rock garden with us. Click on first photo and navigate using the arrows.

After leaving the Rock Garden and Silver Wood we wandered around the hall to find the terraced gardens below it. Each terrace had an atmosphere of its own and different plantings. The best way to show you what we found is by using another gallery to help you enjoy these terraces with us.

To finish off this journey around Parcevall Hall I want to show you this little group of bronze hares looking up at the moon. Moonstruck hares! Great little cameo!

One rogue has no interest in the moon at all and had even turned his back on it to preen himself.

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autumn autumn colours colours garden design garden photography garden seating gardening gardens gardens open to the public grasses hardy perennials light light quality ornamental grasses ornamental trees and shrubs outdoor sculpture RHS sculpture Yorkshire

Autumn at RHS Harlow Carr – Part Three

I am back with my third and final part of my posts featuring the wonderful RHS garden Harlow Carr. In the first post I mentioned a willow trail so here are a few of the pieces we came across on our wanderings.

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Living fences made from willow and hazel featured strongly in the productive gardens and some included seats built in also made of willow. It was seeing these when they were being created at Harlow Carr during the renovation of the kitchen gardens, that gave us the idea of creating our fedge at our allotment community gardens.

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I promised a return to the prairie style borders and my favourite part of late autumn borders, the dried flower heads and seed heads of perennials and grasses. The subtlety of colour and delicate contrasts make for a most pleasing picture.

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We left the perennial borders to follow paths through the stream garden which would give us the chance for a second look at the winter garden. Willow is used along the water’s edge to secure the bankside using a technique known as spiling. Beautiful stone bridges take the path back and forth over the stream.

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So that is Harlow Carr the northern jewel in the RHS’s crown, beautiful whenever you visit with surprises galore alongside old favourites. It won’t be long until be come back again!

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architecture buildings Yorkshire

Saltaire – a unique village – Part Two

So here we are suitably refreshed with part two of my postings about the village of Saltaire. We are carrying on with our wander after a well-earned coffee stop. The staff were so friendly and so cheerful, which seems typical of everyone we met in the village. People enjoyed a chat and offered a smile!

We left our tour of Saltaire previously in Alexandra Square where we found the almhouses.

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Now we set off in search of the social and community buildings proved by Titus Salt and soon found ourselves studying the impressive building which housed the hospital. Medical care was provided for the Saltaire mill workers way in advance of the idea of the National Health Service. Elsewhere medical care was the province of the rich.

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Further up Victoria Road we discovered the institute building which afforded the mill workers opportunities for adult education and socialising. It contained a library, lecture hall, gymnasium and games room, another example of how forward thinking Titus Salt was. On each corner of the wall surrounding the front lawn and entrance to the institute we found 4 lions, one on each corner each with very different expressions.

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Directly opposite the institute is where the youngsters were educated, the school. It is an impressive building which reflected the importance and emphasis Salt placed on education This was at a time when the mills relied on cheap child labour to boost the work force, but a law was in force to control their working hours.

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If you cast your mind back to the end of part one, you will remember that Salt had provided allotments for his workers. The first picture below shows part of this community garden. Close by recently created miniature raised beds perform the same function.

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After enjoying these little productive plots we began making our way back to the mill and the canal and the river Aire that run alongside it. We wanted to look around the park on the far side of the canal. On our way we were delighted to see a contemporary tribute to Titus Salt, “Titus Teas”.

 

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The park is a large open green space away from the mill and the village where Salt’s workers would have had the opportunity to appreciate the space and the freedom to wander. The contrast to work must have been so powerful! Every opportunity to add colour has been taken here, even on the metalwork of the seats and bandstand.

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The cricket pitch with its pavilion must have been a real luxury. This is still used today and has been modernised through the addition of an electronic score-board. It was so good to see the thoughts and works of Titus salt still having a meaning in today’s world. The park he created was busy with families and groups of youngsters enjoying the freedom it gives.

Salt was years ahead of his time. His philanthropy pre-empted the things we take for granted today, those things that make our lives more pleasant, such as the health service and pensions. It was a privilege to walk through his model village, to see what he achieved and imagine what it meant to his workers.

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architecture buildings model villages townscapes Yorkshire

Saltaire – a unique village – Part One

Saltaire is a place with a special atmosphere and a special place in British history, but also a place which very few people have ever heard of. We visited last year but then because of time and terribly wet weather we did not have time to look around the village itself. At that time we spent the day exploring the Salts gallery, where you can see so many pieces of art work from David Hockney, as well as galleries of furniture and beautiful craftwork.

Saltaire is a World Heritage Site and is recognised for the part it played in the development of the society we live in today. When you visit it is hard to believe it was the creation of one man, Titus Salt, a true visionary. He began as a successful business man, indeed one of England’s most eminent Victorian industrialists. He began by building a mill where he aimed to produce the finest wool fabrics utilising the most efficient methods available at the time.

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What made Salt stand “head and shoulders” above his contemporaries was his desire to provide his workers with the healthiest working conditions possible. coupled with this was his ambition to provide his workers and their families with social and community benefits virtually unknown during this period of British social history. We discovered how he achieved this as we explored the “model village” of Saltaire.

It was great to arrive again at Saltaire with the weather slightly better than on our last visit. Dull, overcast but not raining! So follow in our footsteps along the cobbled streets as Jude the Undergardener negotiates the town trail leaflet which took us down into Albert Terrace.

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We turned into William Henry Street where we noticed a variety of styles and sizes of house, from the smallest terraces with no front garden to three story town houses and larger semi-detached homes with gardens. This reflected the status and responsibilities of the tenant. Every street in Saltaire is wide enough to ensure natural light for every home. The three story buildings comprised shared lodgings for single workers whereas those adjoining with a small front garden were homes to the factory foremen.

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In Caroline Street the front door of every house opens directly onto the street showing that these tenants were the lowliest workers. The back lanes between the rear yards of these terraces, which once would have been home to the washing lines and ash cans have become the habitat of the wheelie-bin.

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When we turned the corner into Albert Road we noticed a distinct change. The houses here were larger, grander residences and all semi-detached. These were home to company executives, teachers and the church minister. These would have been built  on the outer boundary to ensure their tenants had a view of open countryside as befitting their status at that time. Open spaces throughout were left for small squares and gardens for communal use. The bunting hanging in the trees shows that this still holds true today.

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All homes whatever the status of the tenant had better conditions than anywhere else in the country at that period. Every house had running water, gas lights, a yard and an outside toilet. There must have been a great sense of pride here. The alternative conditions which most of their contemporaries endured would have been a different world. Salt had moved his factories and his workforce out of Bradford which was then the fastest growing town in the UK. The mill workers of Northern mill towns such as Bradford would have suffered terrible, dirty, dangerous working conditions and slums as homes. Working conditions would still have been difficult and the hours long but Salt was a philanthropic employer.

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One of Titus Salt’s most thoughtful and forward thinking ideas was the provision of almhouses, which we found situated around Alexandra Square. These were homes for elderly and infirm persons “of good moral character”. The inhabitants of the almhouses were also given a pension, all this 40 years before the first state pension. The buildings themselves were very decorative and overlooked an open area of garden.

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We were by this time well in need of a lunch break so made our way to the small area of shops and cafes in the centre. In part two you will find us in search of the social and community buildings, of which Titus Salt provided many. I leave you with another view of the mill with the allotments in the foreground. Salt ensured that there were green areas between the mill and his workers’ homes. The green spaces around the church served the same purpose.

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Sadly someone left Saltaire less happy than we were – they went home with only one glove!

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autumn autumn colours colours garden design garden photography gardening gardens gardens open to the public grasses hardy perennials ornamental grasses ornamental trees and shrubs RHS trees winter gardens Yorkshire

Autumn at RHS Harlow Carr – Part One

We visit the RHS garden, Harlow Carr situated just outside Harrogate, at least once each year. We do this simply because we love the place whatever time of year and whatever the weather. On our latest visit we wanted to see it in the autumn.

As soon as we arrived we realised there were a few things going on to celebrate the autumn. In the entrance foyer there were clues that a Willow Trail had been set out for children to follow.

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Beautiful pure white stems of Betulas welcomed us into the garden.

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Recent high winds had stripped the leaves off many of the trees so on this visit it looked as if we were not going to be seeing much of the autumnal hues we thought we were going to enjoy. The garden was already showing signs of winter. Long views across the gardens afforded us views of tree skeletons combined with just a few orange leaved shrubs and the deeper greens of the conifers.

 

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The Winter Garden soon proved itself to be a brilliant place in the autumn too. Berries gave the strongest colours closely followed by the remnant leaves of shrubs.

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The whisps of the ornamental grasses appeared white at first glance but close up we realised they were the subtlest of biscuit shades.

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There were still plenty of surprises to be found including the bright colours of late flowers in the perennial meadows.

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As the days get shorter more and more of these perennials dry to shades of biscuit, ginger and brown.

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This little corner was probably my favourite part of the garden with the slender trees showing off their coloured trunks and the shrubs beneath them displaying brightly coloured stems.

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Although still late autumn when we visited some of the scents of winter were already pervading the air. The pink flowered Viburnums emitted the strongest scent of all.2014 10 31_6868

In part two of our visit to Harlow Carr we will explain what else this exceptional all-season garden had to offer us.

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architecture buildings photography recycling townscapes Yorkshire

Haworth – Village of the Brontes – Part Two

Welcome back to Haworth, the village of the Brontes, where you find us just about to enter the church, in whose parsonage the family of writers lived. As we walked the gently sloping roadway to the church and parsonage we passed another interesting, eccentric shop. Haworth seemed to attract such places. The church itself was a tall, bulky building and very imposing – not an attractive building at all. But visitors are attracted to it for its Bronte links.

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Throughout the church interior we discovered links with the Brontes, which was not always easy in the gloomy interior. Light is always strange inside churches and you feel uncomfortable using a flash. Check out these plaques, old photos and documents.

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Almost opposite the church was the school in which Charlotte Bronte taught. It was a very short journey to work!

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The tall stone wall surrounding the churchyard was covered in mosses. Close up some patches looked like pictures of earth from the air.

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The parsonage frontage looks straight at the church and was built on a high piece of land so looked most imposing.

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Beyond the Parsonage a narrow footpath took us up to the edge of the moors which influenced so much of the Bronte family writings. Styles and gateways on this track were extremely narrow and walkers had to squeeze through. They were also of strange designs which we had never seen before. The walls alongside the track as it passed the last few village dwellings presented me with the chance to take a few texture shots. In places the path was made of flat stones sunk into the grass.

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We returned to the village centre and took the gentle stroll down the Main Street, with its eclectic mix of shops many displaying art and crafts. We soon discovered we were visiting soon after the village had celebrated the day the Tour de France cycle race came and the day after it had celebrated Halloween. Spot the recycled cycles and the spooky happenings.

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As we left the village to start our long journey home we made a diversion over the moors to take a short wander in the footsteps of the Bronte family. It was easy to see how its isolation and atmosphere provided such inspiration.

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architecture buildings Church architecture photography Yorkshire

Haworth – Village of the Brontes – Part One

We spent a midweek break in Yorkshire this autumn, combining a return visit to the RHS Garden Harlow Carr, with a return to Saltaire and a first visit to the village of the Brontes, Haworth. A busy few days full of interest, enjoyment and variety.

First I shall share with you our visit to Haworth a village up on the moors of Yorkshire. The village and the moors are closely linked to the well-known and much loved family of writers, the Brontes. We found the village after miles of travelling high in the moorland on roads with regular steep climbs and descents. The road began to drop steeply as we approached the village and signposts indicated a car park on the edge of the village. We parked up in a car park hidden in woodland and from there a footpath took us into the very heart of the village.

Haworth is a beautiful place! A village with a strong community feel to it and a centre for creativity where many artists and craftspersons live, work and display their work. To add to the enjoyment of Haworth we discovered that Halloween was due to be celebrated fully. We also discovered that the village has some most excellent coffee houses!

The path took us down below the village’s allotments where the hens entertained us with their contented clucking as we passed unnoticed. We passed the back of the church and entered the very heart of the village, the Square.

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Small businesses clustered around the Square welcoming visitors. You can see how the street drops steeply away from the Square. We decided that the number of coffee shops reflected the steepness of this hill – visitors need lots of places to stop and rest!

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We soon realised that this village had a real sense of community feeling accompanied by an equal sense of pride with a gentle humour running through. Just look at the path gardens under the front windows of these cottages complete with seats. A great place to share your thoughts with neighbours, greet visitors with a friendly smile and watch the life of the village going by. Nearby this little humorous figure enjoyed life in another front garden.

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There were frequent reminders too of the place that the Brontes hold in the hearts of the villagers.

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We followed part of the village trail that encompassed the places most relevant to the life of the Bronte family. We had to walk to the edge of the village to find the starting point where we began with a look at the Sun Inn where in the mid-19th century turn pike tolls would have been collected, and then close by we found the schoolroom which was linked to the West Lane Methodist Chapel which has since been demolished. Behind this schoolroom, which is now the meeting place for the Methodist congregation, we found the old graveyard which afforded wide spreading views over the valley.

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Close by was the rival West Lane Baptist Chapel which had an extensive school room added at the rear. It seemed amazing that this little village huddled in a valley bottom supported several chapels and a church. It reflects the life style of the time, when employers expected their workers to attend their chosen place of worship in order to keep their jobs. Some believed it would keep them out of the inns and public houses.

The second photo below shows a strange arrangement of old gate post ornamentation now displayed atop a garden wall.

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A short walk down the street back towards the heart of the village we found this beautiful and very old building, Townend Farm with its attached barn. These were built in the 17th century but still retained much of the original features including the most beautiful windows.

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We next found a row of back-to-back workers cottages, and we could tell from the relatively large area of upstairs windows that some sort of weaving must have gone on here. The terraces also had basement dwellings below the street level.

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The trail leaflet took us back to the centre where we stopped to look at the interesting array of shops. The Tourist Information Centre was housed in this strange thin building squeezed in a small space between two streets as they merged. The building has a short tower and pyramidal roof which was added when it changed from being the “Mechanics’ Institute” to the “Yorkshire Penny Bank”. The square here sits at the base of the wide steps leading up to the church. The village stocks are still in place outside what were once the post office and a temperance hotel. This teetotal hotel was supported by Patrick Bronte whereas rather ironically Branwell Bronte preferred the building opposite, The Old White Lion Inn.

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The Main Street led us out of the square as it dropped away steeply. We took a detour to the church before embarking on the downhill climb to discover the delights of that street. Part 2 of my Bronte posts will see us visiting the church and the Main Street.

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