A Guided Tour of Thorp Green
(Horton)
 (Part 4 of 4)

O/K! We have now left the Long Plantatioin and are back on Thorp Green Lane . . .

Lane leading to Little Ouseburn - on left: the church is straight ahead

The Kirby Hall estate entrance-gate that we were looking at a while back is now on our right, and directly opposite it, on our immediate left, is the lane that makes its way, westwards, into the pretty village of Little Ouseburn. We won't take this route, but will continue along Thorp Green Lane, and after about another quarter of a mile we find it takes a sudden, sharp, bend to the right (just visible in the distance - between the trees) - immediately passing over a small Georgian hump-back bridge: but we won't take the bend (not yet, anyway). We'll just travel a little closer to it and pause there. From that location we can see, a little way in front of us - just behind the trees and shrubs, Little Ouseburn Church . . .

 

The approach to Little Ouseburn Church

From here, we'll continue straight ahead to the large tree seen just to the right of the church, veer slightly to our left . . .

 

Little Ouseburn Church (looking northwards) (1997)

. . . and thus find ourselves walking up the small path that leads to the church entrance. This is where Anne worshipped with the Robinsons, and where Agnes first encounters the new vicar, Edward Weston. Come on - let's take a peep inside . . .

 


 

View of the chancel and 'East Window' in Little Ouseburn Church

After passing through the doorway and walking a little way into the church, we've turned to our right, and are looking down the central isle - facing the chancel and 'east window'. It was from about a hundred yards beyond the window where Anne did her drawing of this church - we'll pop over there shortly! The window and chancel roof were raised by about 6' during restoration work in 1870. The white asterisk on the right indicates the location of the box pews that were reserved for Anne and the Robinsons (just inside the chancel).142  'In Agnes Grey she writes that when in similar circumstances she attended church, she could see the preacher.' The asterisk on the left indicates the pulpit from where the vicar now preaches (as did Edward Weston?). We now make our way over to the side wall on our right (the 'south wall') . . .

 


 

 Plaque of Edmund Robinson (Jnr) in Little Ouseburn Church The wording reads:
IN MEMORY OF
 
EDMUND ROBINSON,
 
LATE OF THORP GREEN,
 
IN THIS COUNTY,
 
WHO DIED FEBRUARY THE 4th. 1869,
 
AGED 37 YEARS.

. . . and here, mounted on the wall, is the plaque in memory of Edmund Robinson (jnr.) - the lad who was taught, initially by Anne, and subsequently by Branwell.

Edmund Robinson (jnr.) is now buried in a vault beneath this church - located directly beneath the Robinson's pews (previous picture). He was drowned in a boating accident while crossing the nearby river Ure at a time when it was flooded - in 1869.

On the rear (west) wall are plaques for other members of the Robinson family, including the Rev. Edmund, and their baby daughter Georgina, who died on 15 March 1841, while Anne was working for the Robinsons. Just outside the church; a few yards to the west of the tower, and facing it, is the grave of Edward Lascelles - the unpopular vicar who was presiding at the church during the years Anne was at Thorp Green.

Having signed the visitor's book, we will now leave the church and cross over the hump-back bridge (mentioned earlier). We'll follow the lane as it takes an immediate turn to the left, then turn around to view the bridge . . .

 


 

Bridge on Thorp Green Lane - near Little Ouseburn Church (looking southward)

(Picture on right) We are now looking in the Thorp Green direction once again - Little Ouseburn Church is off the photograph to the right. This bridge bears some resemblance to the one sketched by Anne (shown on the left), and Edward Chitham suggests that it may be the same; though recent evidence indicates that this is unlikely. The little beck which passes beneath the bridge (and off the picture to the left) is the one that eventually enters the grounds of Kirby Hall, where it once widened, forming the elongated 'fish pond' at the front of the Hall - as I explained a while ago when we were in the Kirby Hall grounds. Kirby Hall and the site of the wood, the Long Plantation, are situated about a quarter of a mile from this bridge.

From here, don't turn around - just walk backwards about 20 yards, then turn almost 90° to your right, and walk a few yards forward - onto the grassy bank . . .

 


 

Little Ouseburn Church - Anne's sketch / Author's photograph

We are now looking at the church from close to where Anne sketched it - with her sketch shown on the left. At the time Anne produced the drawing the 'Ouse Gill Beck' had been widened here by damming it up a little further along: it formed an elongated pond - in the same manner that it had done in front of Kirby Hall. The 'elongated pond' is clearly visible in the foreground of Anne's picture. However, the beck has now returned to its original size, and is nothing more than a narrow stream sunk into a slight ditch, hence, not visible in my photograph. The increased height of the chancel roof and east-window of the church (mentioned earlier) can clearly be seen by comparing the current view with Anne's sketch.

Now take several steps backwards - on to the pavement, and make your way about four yards to your right, then face the church once more . . .

 


 

Anne sat here sketching the church

. . . The famous phrase, "X marks the spot" is appropriate here - and in this case, the 'exact spot', where Anne sat sketching the scene.143n  She would be nursing a nettled bottom if she tried sitting here today. (Her picture wouldn't turn out too good either!).

Continuing northwards, along this lane for a further half mile would take you into the village of Greater Ouseburn (generally referred to as mere "Ouseburn"); though, despite its name, is scarcely larger; or less 'pretty' for that matter; than Little Ouseburn. This village stands about 2 miles from Thorp Green - and this brings me back to the point about which lane was used by Anne on her journeys from, and back to, Haworth. In Agnes Grey, Agnes refers to:

' . . . the long, long journey to O-----,  the solitary waitings in inns for coaches . . . and, finally, the meeting at O-----  with Mr. Murray's servant, who had been sent with the phaeton to drive me from thence to Horton Lodge. . . . and that a most bewildering storm came on at last, which made the few miles' space between O-----  and Horton Lodge a long and formidable passage.' (Chapter 7).

If Agnes' journey parallels Anne's, then Anne would have travelled from, and back to, Haworth via Ouseburn and Thorp Green Lane, passing Little Ouseburn Church along the way.


Well, that concludes the tour, I hope you've enjoyed it. The links below will take you back to your chosen destination.


'A Guided Tour of Thorp Green'  Copyright © 1999 Michael Armitage

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