Last Updated on
Top Withens has long been thought of as the inspiration for the Wuthering Heights that Emily Bronte describes in her eponymous novel of 1847. Originally "Top of the Withens", Top Withens (or Withins) is a ruined farm thought to date from the second half of the 16th century. It was last inhabited in the 1920s, has been disused since the 1930s and is now completely ruined. In fact, ruined structures pepper the landscape all around. It is actually generally believed that the building Emily Brontë described bore no resemblance to Top Withens whatsoever; but, as a plaque placed on the wall by the Brontë Society says, “the situation may have been in her mind when she wrote of the moorland setting of the heights.” You can walk to Top Withens from a variety of directions and along the Pennine Way. The post code directs you to the village of Stanbury, from which there is a relatively easy path.