Ponden Kirk & The Fairy Cave
The inspiration for Penistone Crags and The Fairy Cave in Wuthering Heights
Ponden Kirk Continues To Inspire
Ponden Kirk is a crag of gritstone rock jutting out of the hillside, believed to be the inspiration for Penistone Crags and The Fairy Cave in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.
Ponden Kirk (kirk meaning church in Scots and Yorkshire) can be accessed across the moor via a less obvious route from Bronte Waterfall or via a path from Ponden Reservoir, passing Ponden Hall.
At Ponden Hall, follow the road round to the right, you will then turn left along a concrete road dissecting a farm. At the end of the road, by the gate, step over the fence onto the moor. Follow the track for approx 50 metres, then turn left along the grassy trail (may not be too obvious) up and beyond the last remaining house. Follow the wall uphill and eventually you will find the stony path leading to Ponden Clough. Carefully cross the beck and along the grassy trail to Ponden Kirk.
Care needs to be taken on top of Ponden Kirk as it’s a steep drop below. You will then be rewarded breathe-taking views.
Ponden Kirk is visited on the ‘Escape To The Moor’ guided Haworth walk which takes you off the beaten track to all the key Bronte beauty spots.
The Fairy Cave
The Fairy Cave is at the base of Ponden Kirk and is only a few metres in length. It’s a little awkward to climb down to and quite narrow to crawl through on your tummy. It’s a simple bit of fun and you get a sense of danger that the rocks may move and trap you at any time. If you do go through, please do so with care, especially when coming out the other end as it’s a long, steep slope below.
BEWARE – Folklore says that crawling through the Fairy Cave brings marriage within the year. Dare you!?
Ponden Clough is where the beck passes over several flat layers of stone before descending below and has a beautiful view of the valley. A lovely place for a picnic.
While you are there, hunt out the ‘Catherine Earnshaw’ and the ‘Emily Bronte’ carvings in stone by the small, grassy clearing.