Charlotte Bronte - Celtic Memories Holiday Park

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Charlotte Bronte

The Brontës, a famous English literary family, have roots in County Down.

The tiny stone cottage where her father, Patrick Brunty, was born in 1777 still stands, albeit in ruins, outside Rathfriland.

The son of a poor farmer, Patrick studied at Cambridge University before eventually being appointed vicar of Haworth in England.

He later changed the spelling of his name to Brontë, but it is not known why.

His daughter, Charlotte, was born on 20 April 1816. Charlotte and her sisters, Emily and Anne, went on to become writers, whose novels such as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, have become classics.

The Brontë Homeland in Banbridge where Patrick was raised has become something of a tourist attraction. The grave of the Brontë sisters' grandparents lies at Drumballyroney Church where Patrick first preached.

"This is going to be a big thing for Brontë fans. This is where it all began with Humble origins. It brings home how humble his origins were. To go from this little two-bedroom cottage to become the father of not just one but three of the most famous authors in the entire history of English literature, it's quite impressive." Tourism officer Jason Diamond

There are anecdotes of the Brontë sisters speaking with Irish brogue accents because they spent so much time with their father growing up." When their mother, Maria, died Charlotte was only five. Her father raised the family, with help from an aunt.

Charlotte was the only sister to visit Ireland, spending her honeymoon in County Offaly. She had married her father's curate, Arthur Bell Nicholls, from Killead in County Antrim. Most people imagine them to have posh, English accents but there are claims that wasn't the case, especially at a young age.
The fertile land of County Down has been farming country for  centuries. It was here that Patrick Brontë, father of Charlotte, Emily  and Anne - the Brontë sisters, was born into a farming family on 17th  March 1777 - Saint Patrick's day.

Follow the story of Patrick  Brontë and his family through the buildings that survive within the  Homeland. The Brontë Homeland Drive starts at Drumballyroney Church and  School near Rathfriland, ten miles south of Banbridge.

It is well  signposted along the 10-mile route shown on the map. Drumballyroney  Church and School, where Patrick Brontë taught and preached, have been  preserved and now include displays about the Brontë family. Brontë  Homeland Picnic Site, Knockiveagh. An ideal place to stop and see the rolling hills where Patrick grew up and the Mountains of Mourne in the background.

Church Hill Road, Drumballyroney, Rathfriland, County Down, BT34 5PH
Phone number: (028) 4062 0232
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