Revisiting Wycoller

A rereading Jane Eyre, a transportation of myself back to the places I love most.

So this, from my old blog, is a post I’d written about a visit to Yorkshire the Teen and I took at the very beginning of the big change. If I could, I’d be up there now:

“Whilst in Haworth waaaay back in October; the teen and I did pretty much as much Bronte stuff as we could, including a trip to Wycoller village. The hall is supposed to be the inspiration for Ferndean Manor in Jane Eyre, which I have been re-reading this month.

To get there we had to park some way away from the hamlet itself and follow a tree-lined path that whorls and whirls around corners. Occasionally we would stop and ask someone coming in the opposite direction if this was the right way.

 
The main body of the village is set in a dip in the land, filled with the kind of honey-coloured houses that I immediately lust after. The size of the cars suggest that the only way I’d make it into one of them is as a governess though. And I don’t have Jane’s patience with small things.
 
Cross over the bridge, watching the clear water splash and play in the fading light. We’d left this visit till quite late in the day:
“I thought I had taken a wrong direction and lost my way. The darkness of natural as well as sylvan dusk gathered over me. I looked around in search of another road. There was none: all was interwoven stem, columnar trunk, dense, summer foliage…”
 
 
Glimpse black-edged ruins amongst the trees.
 
 
So this is Ferndean. I wonder what Charlotte made of it?
 
“…Ferndean Manor, even more retired and hidden than this, where I could have lodged her safely enough, had not a scruple about the unhealthiness of the situation, in the heart of a wood, made my conscience recoil from the arrangement. Probably those damp walls would soon have eased me of her charge…”

We looked and looked (well I did) for a Mr. Rochester striding forward, black eyes glinting beneath a heavy brow, but he was nowhere to be seen.

“His form was of the same strong and stalwart contour as ever: his port was still erect, his hair still raven-black; nor were his features altered or sunk: not in one year’s space, by any sorrow, could his athletic strength be quelled, or his vigorous prime blighted.”

“It was as still as a church on a weekday: the pattering rain on the forest leaves was the only sound audible in its vicinage.”

There was no rain, but turning leaves rustled in tree-tops, and the brook’s constant chattering reminded us why it was considered a damp spot.

So we stepped quietly through gaps in the walls, watched the light play with the trees and wished for a moment we were rustling around in crinoline. Just for a moment.

“Then he stretched out his hand to be led. I took that dear hand, held it a moment to my lips, then let it pass round my shoulder: being so much lower of stature than he, I served both for his prop and guide. We entered the wood, and wended homeward.”

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