HAWORTH’S legendary Bronte sisters have had everything from hotels to biscuits named in their honour, but probably not bats ­– until now!

Three pipistrelles found to be regular visitors to the roof space of a building close to the birthplace of the famous literary siblings have been ‘christened’ Charlotte, Emily and Anne.

And a special bat box has been created for them, which is a scaled-down replica of the house the sisters were born in just a few minutes’ walk away.

The bats were discovered by workmen when they started renovations at the South Square Centre, a heritage arts and community venue in Thornton.

The centre – a collection of 19th-century Grade II-listed workers’ cottages – was awarded a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant last year for a capital works programme, which includes the restoration of the roof.

Yvonne Carmichael, the centre’s director, said: “The village of Thornton is famous for being the birthplace of the Brontes. South Square does a lot of work around the family, so it was only right that we named our bats after the three remarkable sisters.

“To ensure the bats’ survival and safety, we worked with local ecologists who suggested the installation of a bat box.

“A bat box is an artificial roost designed to encourage bats into areas where there are few roosting sites.

“You can purchase them from garden centres and other places, but we’re an arts centre – it was never going to be ‘just a box’!”

Heritage assistant Chloe Moreton set to work designing a bat box with a difference.

And as the roof’s scaffolding was removed, the bats’ new home was installed.

“I’m really proud to be a little part of the history of this amazing centre,” said Chloe, whose family hails from the village.

“It does great work for its community and has undertaken some successful outreach through lockdown supporting the village’s elderly and vulnerable.”

South Square Centre is due to reopen to the public on June 4 when there will be exhibitions, with social distancing in place. And visitors will be able to see the bat box from the garden area.

“The centre has such a rich and wonderful heritage,” said Yvonne.

“It supports artists from around the UK with its exhibitions and it continues to follow in its ethos of being community-led but accessible to all.

“We have some great plans for the future and are pleased that ‘The Bronte Bats’ will be a part of it!”

For more about the centre, visit southsquarecentre.co.uk.

The Bronte family moved to Haworth in 1820, when the siblings were young.

Their father, Patrick, was an Anglican clergyman and served as rector of Haworth.