A HOUSE with links to the Brontes could be transformed into luxury holiday accommodation.

Proposals have been put forward for a major refurbishment of the Grade II* listed former Red House museum, at Gomersal.

Dating back to 1660, the property and grounds are considered an important heritage asset.

They are associated with Luddite activities and the Taylor family – particularly Mary Taylor, a writer and early feminist.

And the house is revered by Bronte fans. Charlotte – a friend of Mary – was a regular guest at the property in the 1830s and gave it a starring role as Briarmains in her novel, Shirley.

Now Kirklees Council is proposing to invest £600,000 in the site to bring the historic house – and a neighbouring cart shed – back into use.

Red House operated as a community museum, but falling visitor numbers and rising costs led to its closure in 2016.

A decision to allow the property to be marketed for private sale prompted a petition from Red House Heritage Group in 2019, which resulted in the council’s cabinet agreeing to explore alternative uses for the site which could maintain it in public hands.

Under the new plan, designed to appeal to the luxury tourism market, the house would accommodate ten guests. And once the business is established, it may also host weddings. The cart shed would be split into four self-catering apartments.

A barn on the site could be retained for community use. Plus it’s proposed that the commercial operation is suspended for a number of days and weekends each year for community-organised events and activities.

Colin Parr, Kirklees Council’s strategic director for environment and climate change, said: “The proposal will allow the council to retain the property in public ownership without incurring huge operating costs.

“We have looked at the example set by the National Trust and the Landmark Trust – which both renovate heritage buildings to let as holiday cottages as a way of sustaining them – and we are confident that this could be a business model that works for the council too.”

Red House Heritage Group said its main priority was that the site should be “respected and protected” and it looked forward to being consulted as the project progressed.