A BLUE plaque marking the birthplace of the Brontes was unveiled yesterday - on what would have been Emily’s birthday.

The new heritage marker is the first Bradford Civic Society blue plaque dedicated to the Bronte sisters at their Thornton birthplace.

It was commissioned by Mark and Michelle De Luca, who run Emily’s cafe at the property, and funded by a donation from the Bradford-based Morrisons Foundation.

Patrick and Maria Bronte moved to the Market Street house in 1815, with their two infant children, Maria and Elizabeth. The family soon expanded, with Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne all born in the house, and they moved to Haworth Parsonage in 1820.

The Thornton birthplace was a museum for several years and in 2013 it was bought by Mark and Michelle De Luca, who sensitively restored it, to reveal a number of original features.

Councillor Si Cunningham, Chair of the Blue Plaques committee on Bradford Civic Society said: “It was a real pleasure to see so many people venture out safely into the rain to see the unveiling of the city’s latest, and arguably most overdue, blue plaque.

"The Brontes are world famous and rightly synonymous with Haworth and the brooding moors above, but we must also acknowledge their strong connection to Bradford.

"Alongside the refurbished South Square centre, this new blue plaque underlines Thornton’s place as an important destination for culture and heritage in Bradford and the wider Yorkshire region.”

Accompanying the unveiling was the launch of a new book about places that inspired the Brontes.

Walking the Invisible, by Michael Stewart, follows a series of inspiring walks through the lives and landscapes of the world famous literary family, investigating geographical and social features that shaped their work.