Wycoller is a picturesque hamlet famous for its the ruins of Wycoller Hall where Charlotte Brontė set part of Jane Eyre. Here you can walk over the historic "Clam Bridge" that dates back to the Iron Age.
Places of Interest
"The manor-house of Ferndean was a building of considerable antiquity, moderate size, and no architectural pretensions, deep buried in a wood... Even when within a very short distance of the manor-house, you could see nothing of it, so thick and dark grew the timber of the gloomy wood about it. Iron gates between granite pillars showed me where to enter, and passing through them, I found myself at once in the twilight of close-ranked trees. There was a grass-grown track descending the forest aisle between hoar and knotty shafts and under branched arches.", from Chapter XXXVII
"Brontė worshippers make "Ferndean Manor" a place of pilgrimage... Today, lovers of "Jane Eyre" proceed in thousands to look at the ruin.. But what a ruin! As soon as one enters the Dene its magic and glamour and romance seize upon the spirit, make us bow the head in silent reverence before blackened stones and confused broken masonry because that spot enshrines for each one the close of a story which holds the world spell-bound. the alembic of Charlotte Brontė's vivid imagination and gift of words made a ruin a haven of happiness. We feel the presence of Jane and her blind husband as we move about the precincts which these mind-created characters inhabited. To thousands of people this consciousness gives assurance that Wycoller Hall is of a truth "Ferndean Manor".", Folley, E.W., "Romantic Wycoller", privately published (but quoted in Bentley, J., "Portrait of Wycoller", 1993), 1949.
Another, somewhat less prosaic, piece of evidence to support the belief that Wycoller Hall was the basis of Ferndean Manor comes from a report of the members of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society visit to Wycoller in May 1901. "The ladies were pleased to hear that some old folks had been spoken to who had remembered the Misses Brontė coming down from Barnside; also that Wycoller was the original "Fern Dean" in Jane Eyre, and that the Heights above were Wuthering Heights". It is also know that Charlotte was known to visit old halls in the area; it is well documented that she stayed with Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth in nearby Gawthorpe Hall in 1850.