In 1861, Charlotte Bronte’s husband, Arthur Bell Nicholls, returned from Haworth, the home of the Bronte’s, to Hill House in Banagher. The Rev. Patrick Bronte, the last of the family, had died and Arthur inherited everything including his wife’s wedding clothes, the family’s childhood writings, diaries, books, manuscripts, paintings and even the Rev. Patrick Bronte’s dogs, Cato and Plato. The three Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, were popular novelists and items associated with their lives and works were highly sought after; yet Arthur’s esteem for the family was such that he refused to monetise these treasures. Some years after his death in 1906, his second wife, Mary Anna, organised the sale of these objects through Sotheby’s and most of the Bronte relics found their way back to the parsonage museum at Haworth.
For two years the Crafting group in Banagher have been making textile pieces of some of the important items preserved in Hill House, such as Charlotte’s wedding dress; portraits of Charlotte, Arthur, and Branwell; quotations and other items to tell the story of the Bronte connection with Banagher.
This community-based project curated by Maebh O’Regan is designed to highlight the role that Arthur Bell Nicholls played in preserving the Bronte legacy.
These works will be exhibited in Crank House during the That Beats Banagher Festival in July 2022. The show will include readings a film event and demonstration. Festival dates to be confirmed.
Please note that the details of events listed above are provided by the relevant Local Authorities.