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New signs at Top Withens celebrate history of iconic Brontë location

New signs have been installed at the ruins of the famous Top Withens farmhouse near Haworth, West Yorkshire, that blend more sympathetically into their famous Brontë country setting.

Located in the wild landscape that inspired Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, the two new ‘heritage’ style signs have replaced old signs that sparked criticisms from councillors and passers-by for being too bright and spoiling the scenery.

Both of the new signs, situated next to the footpath, impart interesting historical information about the Top Withens farmhouse and its links to the Brontë sisters.

They have been designed by the Brontë Society and Yorkshire Water to be less obtrusive and more sensitive to the rural area. They also help mark the two hundred year bicentenaries of the births of Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne Brontë.

Criticism of the three old signs, which have now all been removed, were that they were too bright and located too close to the famous Top Withens farmhouse ruin, which was spoiling people's photographs.

As a result, the new signs feature softer colours that blend into the rugged moorland and are positioned on waist height tilted wooden plinths.

A Yorkshire Water spokesperson said: "We hope people find these new signs useful and interesting. Working closely with the Brontë Society we have carefully thought about a design that is more sympathetic to the landscape and the wooden plinths helps achieve this look. The historical information in them is also more engaging, but retains the safety message we originally wanted to communicate.”

A spokesperson for the Brontë Society said: “Although the association of Top Withens with Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights is a loose one, the site continues to hold a special significance for Brontë fans across the world.

The Brontë Society is grateful to Yorkshire Water for providing the opportunity to work in partnership on signage more in keeping with this inspirational landscape.”

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