HAWORTH'S Bronte Parsonage Museum reopens to the public on Wednesday, May 19, as lockdown restrictions are further eased.

Visitors will be welcomed back through the doors almost 126 years to the day since the original Bronte Museum opened in 1895.

The reopening comes after a tough period for the parsonage, which like other attractions has been hit hard by the impact of the pandemic.

The museum has been closed throughout the winter and early spring.

It received £119,200 from Arts Council England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Culture Recovery Fund. The money helped the Bronte Society – the charity responsible for the museum – to provide support through lockdown and increase digital activity.

Rebecca Yorke, of the museum's executive team, said: "Following a challenging six months, we are delighted that we will soon be reopening our doors and able to welcome back visitors.

"We are extremely grateful to both Arts Council England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for the help of the Cultural Recovery Fund, which has been vital to us while we’ve been closed.

"We would also like to say a huge 'thank you' to our supporters in Yorkshire and around the globe who have helped us in a myriad of ways over the last year."

The reopening is being marked with two exhibitions.

Contemplating Hope, by celebrated ceramic artist Layla Khoo, will be in situ for a year.

The exhibition – originally scheduled to take place last year – will feature a new, carefully-crafted ceramic vessel every month into which visitors can put a slip of paper on which they've written their hopes and dreams.

Inspiration for the work was provided by the Bronte sisters' ‘diary papers’, which the siblings kept stored in a cash box and looked at every four years to see what hopes and aspirations had been realised.

A selection of the original diary papers will also be on display.

Harry Jelley, audience development officer at the museum, said: "We were really excited to work with Layla Khoo, having seen previous work she has done with the National Trust.

"Layla has a talent for finding emotional connections to collections and thinking about how to bring audiences closer to the stories museums tell.

"We first invited Layla to the parsonage almost two years ago. She explored the collection before taking some time to reflect and develop ideas. Layla was immediately drawn to Anne and Emily’s diary papers. Contemplating Hope emerged through a series of conversations, resulting in this installation that brings together Layla’s ceramics practice with a participatory experience that invites the audience to take a step into the Brontes' shoes.

"In the turbulent times in which we live, it’s poignant how Layla has connected with the emotional and topical threads that we share with the Brontes' time – disease, political movements, ambition, apprehension, hope. We hope visitors will find some peace and calm to reflect with this installation."

The second exhibition is Gondal Arise!, an installation by Isabel Greenberg – the illustrator and writer behind the Bronte-inspired graphic novel Glass Town.

As well as original works from Glass Town, Gondal Arise! will feature new maps by Isabel that explore Emily and Anne’s imaginary world of Gondal.

The installation, which aims to bring together the sisters' fantasy world with the real world, will be in place until December.

Further events for the summer are due to be announced by the museum in the coming weeks, including the line-up for its annual Bronte Festival of Women’s Writing.

For more about the reopening and to buy tickets, visit bronte.org.uk/visit-us.

Visitors are asked to note that social distancing and other Covid safety measures will be in place.