Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting KNEWS to 80360, or email
Plans to restore Haworth to its former glory
2:00pm Thursday 15th August 2013 in News
Efforts to restore Haworth to its former glory could soon see it regain its rightful place as the “window to Yorkshire”.
A new tourist map of Haworth has been released to highlight every aspect of the historic village – not just the buildings and sights associated with its most famous former residents, the Bronte sisters.
It is one of several steps being taken by Bradford Council, English Heritage, Bronte Spirit and Haworth Parish Council to rebuild the village’s heritage.
English Heritage declared Haworth ‘at risk’ in 2010, saying its unique features were in danger of disappearing, and that it would not be recognised by the Bronte family if they were still alive.
Dragging Haworth down were street clutter, including advertising boards, modern features on historic buildings and deteriorating setts along many of the village streets.
Since then the setts have been re-laid by Bradford Council, windows at the Bronte Schoolroom restored to what they would have looked like when the sisters taught there, and buildings along Main Street refurbished.
The groups hope that as Haworth returns to the idyllic Yorkshire village it was, more tourists will flow through the streets, and the new map will help them find its hidden gems.
Some of the sights included on the map are elaborate graves at the parish church, the Victorian Co-operative stores and Haworth’s various pubs.
Deborah Wall, of English Heritage, said: “We’ve come up with guidance and it shows how a lot of the buildings could and should look.
“That is why we’ve done some of the shop fronts, so people can get a sense of how much better things can be.”
Tammy Whitaker, also of English Heritage, said: “A lot of things can improve Haworth, like restoring the original-style windows. A lot of buildings look too modern – they were damaging Haworth’s image.”
One of the shops that underwent a restoration was Mrs Beighton’s Sweet Shop, which had its frontage returned to how it would have looked more than 100 years ago.
The project was meant to be an inspiration to other businesses, and was funded by the shop’s owners, Bradford Council and English Heritage.
Business owner, Alan Breeze, said: “The change has been good. I’ve seen a lot of people taking photos of the shop. I have heard a lot of positive comments.”
When asked if the improvements will pull Haworth off the ‘at risk’ register, parish council chairman Councillor John Huxley said: “It’s a great start. We still have a lot of work to do, but it’s been encouraging so far how things have developed.”
English Heritage regional director for planning, Trevor Mitchell, said: “It is a world-famous place, and it should look like the world cares for it. Next year, when the Tour de France comes here, the world will look at it.
“People come to Haworth expecting it to be a fantastic place, so we need to make sure they aren’t disappointed. It should be the world’s window to Yorkshire.”