Bronte Birthplace at Thornton sold in private sale

trust’s chairman Steve Stanworth

trust’s chairman Steve Stanworth

First published in Bradford Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

The saga of the Bronte birthplace in Bradford looks to be over – at least for the time being.

The double-fronted house at 72/74 Market Street, Thornton, in which Anne, Branwell, Charlotte and Emily Bronte were born and raised between 1815 and 1820 before the family moved to Haworth, has been sold to a private buyer for £120,000.

The Bronte Birthplace Trust, which met last night, had wanted to acquire the house and convert it into a Bronte museum, a tourist attraction as it used to be, to help regenerate the village.

But, as revealed in the Telegraph & Argus earlier this week, its plan took a body blow after Bradford Council’s leadership declined to purchase the terraced house on behalf of the trust.

Councillor Andrew Thornton, who holds the portfolio for environment, sport and sustainability, said that at a time of Government cuts the Council was not satisfied this was a justifiable use of public money.

The trust’s chairman Steve Stanworth said of the sale of the property: “This has come as a shock, hot on the heels of the news Bradford Council felt unable to help us to save the property for the community and Bronte lovers worldwide.

“We are extremely disappointed and disgusted with the Council’s attitude. The trust feels we need to continue in our quest to buy the property and appeal to Bronte lovers everywhere to help us raise funds.

“We need money to prepare a business case for the future purchase. It was felt keenly by the group that we need to remain focussed and although the house is now sold we need to be in a stronger position should it appear on the market again.”

The sale was completed by Beverley Smith for Whitneys estate agents in Clayton.

Mrs Smith, a Thornton resident herself, said: “Because this property was a repossession we have got to get as much for it as possible. Contracts have been exchanged and keys handed over.

“It’s been bought by a couple, not a company. I am sure they will be sympathetic to the Bronte sisters because of conversations I had with them.”

Comments (9)

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9:29am Fri 22 Feb 13

Apollo says...

At least the Council did not get their hands on it. There is some good news in this story.
At least the Council did not get their hands on it. There is some good news in this story. Apollo
  • Score: 0

9:49am Fri 22 Feb 13

Grumpygirl says...

The Council should have supported the trust. Our once great City needs all the help it can get.

The Brontes are a global brand and should be promoted intelligently. £120k is a fraction of the cost of the city park (the big wet thing in front of City Hall) and enhancing Bronte pilgimage would do much more to raise Bradford's profile.

At City Hall our elected leaders lack vision and our paid officials lack understanding. People who do have vision are regularly kicked where it hurts. Until the people at City Hall are changed, Bradford is doomed..
The Council should have supported the trust. Our once great City needs all the help it can get. The Brontes are a global brand and should be promoted intelligently. £120k is a fraction of the cost of the city park (the big wet thing in front of City Hall) and enhancing Bronte pilgimage would do much more to raise Bradford's profile. At City Hall our elected leaders lack vision and our paid officials lack understanding. People who do have vision are regularly kicked where it hurts. Until the people at City Hall are changed, Bradford is doomed.. Grumpygirl
  • Score: 0

10:20am Fri 22 Feb 13

Albion. says...

I hope the buyers will be very happy in their new home.
I hope the buyers will be very happy in their new home. Albion.
  • Score: 1

12:28pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Smell the coffee says...

Window nets are a must when strutting around the living room naked, given that tourists will still visit.
Window nets are a must when strutting around the living room naked, given that tourists will still visit. Smell the coffee
  • Score: 0

8:25pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Mr Ordinary Man says...

As a ratepayer, I'm pleased that the council sensibly did not buy the Bronte house. The council have much more inportant services to protect using scarce ratpayer's money. After all the house will still be there and lived in by people who will look after it...it's not as though it was being demolished!
As a ratepayer, I'm pleased that the council sensibly did not buy the Bronte house. The council have much more inportant services to protect using scarce ratpayer's money. After all the house will still be there and lived in by people who will look after it...it's not as though it was being demolished! Mr Ordinary Man
  • Score: 0

10:48am Sat 23 Feb 13

Sally Way says...

£120,000 for a double fronted house in Thornton that seems to be extremely cheap.
£120,000 for a double fronted house in Thornton that seems to be extremely cheap. Sally Way
  • Score: 0

8:48am Sun 24 Feb 13

Mdw1903 says...

Council not bothered about heritage. More bothered about funding trips to Pakistan.
Council not bothered about heritage. More bothered about funding trips to Pakistan. Mdw1903
  • Score: 0

9:16am Sun 24 Feb 13

modman61 says...

Mr Ordinary Man wrote:
As a ratepayer, I'm pleased that the council sensibly did not buy the Bronte house. The council have much more inportant services to protect using scarce ratpayer's money. After all the house will still be there and lived in by people who will look after it...it's not as though it was being demolished!
Have a word with yourself. This council protecting more important services like what? They should not be trusted with anything. All they do is waste money on pie in the sky schemes.
[quote][p][bold]Mr Ordinary Man[/bold] wrote: As a ratepayer, I'm pleased that the council sensibly did not buy the Bronte house. The council have much more inportant services to protect using scarce ratpayer's money. After all the house will still be there and lived in by people who will look after it...it's not as though it was being demolished![/p][/quote]Have a word with yourself. This council protecting more important services like what? They should not be trusted with anything. All they do is waste money on pie in the sky schemes. modman61
  • Score: 0

9:17am Sun 24 Feb 13

modman61 says...

Mdw1903 wrote:
Council not bothered about heritage. More bothered about funding trips to Pakistan.
Spot on!
[quote][p][bold]Mdw1903[/bold] wrote: Council not bothered about heritage. More bothered about funding trips to Pakistan.[/p][/quote]Spot on! modman61
  • Score: 0

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