Top Withens

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Top Withens ( SD981353 ) (also known as Top Withins) is a ruined farmhouse near Haworth, West Yorkshire, England, which is said to have been the inspiration for the location of the Earnshaw family house Wuthering Heights in the 1847 novel of the same name by Emily Brontë.


A plaque affixed to a wall reads:

This farmhouse has been associated with "Wuthering Heights", the Earnshaw home in Emily Brontë's novel. The buildings, even when complete, bore no resemblance to the house she described, but the situation may have been in her mind when she wrote of the moorland setting of the Heights.

Brontë Society 1964. This plaque has been placed here in response to many inquiries.

The ruin lies on the Pennine Way east of Withins Height below Delf Hill. It is a popular walking destination from nearby Haworth and Stanbury. Such is the attraction to Japanese literary tourists that some footpath signs in the area include directions in Japanese.


On 18 May 1893, Top Withens was struck by lightning during a thunderstorm. Holes were made in the wall, the roof was partially torn off, flags were cracked, and around 30 windows were almost completely removed. A portion of slate was thrown far from the house by the wind, and in the kitchen the blade of a knife had been fused by the heat. A bowl of dough prepared by the farmer's wife, Mrs. Sunderland, was smashed to pieces, and her dog and cat fled the building in fear. This was reported by the Todmorden & District News the following week. [1]

Top Withens from the south TopWithens.jpg
Top Withens from the south
Bronte Society plaque at Top Withens TopWithensPlaque.jpg
Brontë Society plaque at Top Withens
A moorland sheep in front of the derelict building Sheep at Top Withens.jpg
A moorland sheep in front of the derelict building

Coordinates: 53°48′53″N2°01′47″W / 53.814810°N 2.029789°W / 53.814810; -2.029789

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  1. "Todmorden & District News". Todmorden & District News. 26 May 1893. Retrieved 22 June 2018.