A photograph of Top Withens is expected to fetch up to £1,200 when it goes under the hammer at Sotheby's in London next week.

The black and white picture was taken in 1945 by Bill Brandt, a leading British photographer of his generation.

Brandt described the photograph, which is being sold from a private collection, as one of his favourites of that time. Top Withens, a now-derelict farmhouse on the moors above Haworth, was reputedly the inspiration for the setting of Emily Bront's classic novel Wuthering Heights. Brandt, who died in 1983, once wrote about the lengths he had gone to in an effort to capture precisely the shot he wanted.

He said: "I was trying to photograph the country which had inspired Emily Bront. I went to the West Riding in summer, but there were tourists and it seemed quite the wrong time of the year. I liked it better misty, rainy and lonely in November. But I was not satisfied until I saw it again in February. I took the picture just after a hailstorm, when a high wind was blowing over the moors."

In the 1930s Brandt produced a series of striking social records contrasting the lives of the rich and the poor, and during the Second World War worked for the Ministry of Information recording London during the blitz.

His shot of Top Withens is among nine photographs which belonged to the late Herbert Spencer, formerly professor of graphic arts at the Royal College of Art, London, being auctioned on Thursday. Together the photos being sold following Mr Spencer's death last year are expected to fetch £55,000.