A plaque affixed to a wall reads:
This farmhouse has been associated with "Wuthering Heights", the Earnshaw home in Emily Brontë's novel. The buildings, even when complete, bore no resemblance to the house she described, but the situation may have been in her mind when she wrote of the moorland setting of the Heights.— Brontë Society 1964. This plaque has been placed here in response to many inquiries.
The ruin lies on the Pennine Way east of Withins Height below Delf Hill. It is a popular walking destination from nearby Haworth and Stanbury. Such is the attraction to Japanese literary tourists that some footpath signs in the area include directions in Japanese.
On 18 May 1893, Top Withens was struck by lightning during a thunderstorm. The electric fluid cut several capers, and holes were made in the wall. The roof was partially torn off, flags were cracked, and around 30 windows were almost completely removed. A portion of slate was thrown far from the house by the wind, and in the kitchen the blade of a knife had been fused by the heat. The farmer's wife, Mrs. Sunderland's bowl of dough was smashed to pieces, and her dog and cat fled the building in fear. This was reported by the Todmorden & District News the following week.
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