Charlotte Bronte, the author of my favourite novel Jane Eyre, also visited Derbyshire. Don’t forget to check out my Jane Austen in Derbyshire post!
Luckily for me she actually visited the village I stayed in, Hathersage. Located in the North West Derbyshire, Bronte visited in 1845 in order to stay with her friend, Ellen Nussey in her brothers rectory while he was on his honeymoon. Bronte came into The George Inn to meet Nussey.
The George Inn in Hathersage
While she was here Bronte visited different places that influenced locations in Jane Eyre. The George inn’s landlord gave name to the village that St John serves as rector to, Morton. Brookfield Manor becomes Vale Hall, the house of Rosamond Oliver.
The sign leading to Brookfield Manor in Hathersage
North Lees Hall is the inspiration for Thornfield, the description Bronte gives of it matches the house. The owners of the house were the Eyre’s, which Bronte took for Jane’s surname. I did try to follow the Hathersage literary trail, which takes you past North Lees Hall and other places connected to Bronte and others, however I managed to get lost.
‘three stories high … a gentleman’s manor house … battlements around the top gave it a picturesque look’ – Charlotte Bronte describing Thornfield in Jane Eyre
Hathersage itself was an influence for Morton and was well known at the time for the production of needles, which is also the what the factory, that Mr Oliver in the novel runs, produces.
The moorland around Hathersage must have influenced Bronte and being so similar to Yorkshire, I feel she must have felt instantly at home in Derbyshire. Stanage Edge is again used by film crews for Jane’s escape from Thornfield. Moorseats is used as Moor House the house that Jane meets Mary, St John and Diana at and ends up making her own home for a while.
Filming locations for Jane Eyre
Many adaptations, rather fittingly, have been filmed in Derbyshire. They include the 1996, 2006 and 2011 adaptations. Haddon Hall has been used by all these adaptations to represent Thornfield, it’s perfectly situated in a beautiful estate with a romantic looking house. Chatsworth and Hathersage were also used for filming.
Filming locations for Jane Eyre at Haddon Hall
(All photos belong to me)
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Bronte, Charlotte, 1847, Jane Eyre
Bronte blog, 2006, http://bronteblog.blogspot.com/2006/07/locations-and-some-additional.html
Derbyshire Life, 2016, http://www.derbyshirelife.co.uk/out-about/places/20-famous-film-locations-in-derbyshire-and-the-peak-district-1-4148349
The Enthusiast’s Guide to Jane Eyre, 2018, http://eyreguide.awardspace.co.uk/locations.html
Hathersage village information board, 2018
Locations Hub, 2011, https://www.locationshub.com/blog/2013/10/26/the-film-locations-of-jane-eyre-a-holiday-in-derbyshire-england
The Peak District National Park, 2018, http://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/500633/Jane-Eyre-Hathersage-Trail.pdf
Youth Hostel Association Hathersage information board, 2018