Friday, January 21, 2011

Bronte Country

Brontë Country:  the Mournes from the church

Not far from us there are many brown tourist signs indicating 'Brontë Country' depicting the land where the Patrick Brontë, father of the Brontë Sisters originated.:

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.

Drumballyroney Church and School, where Patrick Brontë taught and preached, have been preserved and now include displays about the Brontë family.

I've passed by these signs many time over the years, and was inclined to view it as something for visitors, but I stopped at Drumballyroney Church on the way home from Rathfriland yesterday. I've concluded it's well worth a closer look:

County Down: where better?

Drumballyroney churchyard, graves date from the 1700's

Heathcliffe and Cathy

A Red Kite seen on the Mill Road on the way home - you can see clearly the identification tags