AN ambitious plan to raise more than £600,000 to buy and restore the original birthplace of the world’s most famous literary sisters, the Brontës, is being launched today.

Although thousands of visitors flock to Haworth every year to visit the world-famous Brontë Parsonage, the three Brontë sisters were actually born in Thornton, where their father Patrick was the local vicar.

Now a band of local people and Brontë enthusiasts have launched a community share scheme to buy and refurbish the house to save part of the past for future generations. The community share offer has gone live today.

The Brontë sisters were born in Thornton more than 200 years ago, when their father arrived with his wife Maria to take up the position of local vicar.

Their children, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne, were each born in front of the fireplace in the parlour.

The house is described as a place where the family lived their ‘happiest years’ and the Save The Brontë Birthplace group wants to ensure the historic spot is safeguarded for the future.

With a community share offer, funds are being raised to buy and restore the house and open it as a community and educational space.

There are also plans to open a cafe, and people will also have the opportunity to stay in one of the Brontë sisters' bedrooms.

The share offer scheme has the backing of the Bradford Literature Festival and the Brontë Society, which owns and runs the Parsonage.

Rebecca Yorke, director of the Brontë Society and Brontë Parsonage Museum, said: "The former parsonage at Thornton, where the famous Brontë siblings were born, played a significant part in the family’s story.

"The house is currently inaccessible to admirers of the Brontës and the general Brontë public alike.

"It feels important that it should be preserved and play a part in celebrating the legacy of the extraordinary Brontë family.

"The Brontë Society, who run the Brontë Parsonage Museum, fully support this project to save the Brontë Birthplace for the community."

Steve Stanworth, of the Save the Brontë Birthplace committee, said: "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save an important piece of the Brontë story.

"The family always said their happiest years were spent at Thornton yet few people know of their connection.

"We are not saving the birthplace for us. We are saving it for future generations who will be able to literally walk in the footsteps of three Bradford girls who continue to inspire with their determination and grit to achieve their dreams."

To raise funds for the project, visit