A Guided Tour of Thorp Green
(Horton)

    
 N.B: Throughout this tour, the background has been dimmed to enhance picture radiance. 
Most photographs are by the author.

Welcome to the Thorp Green tour. Thorp Green is a small hamlet lying about eight miles north-west of York, and about forty miles east of Haworth. It was at Thorp Green Hall, between the years 1840 and 1845, where Anne worked as governess to the Robinson children. Anne and the Robinson family worshipped in Little Ouseburn Church; Little Ouseburn being a small village about one and a half miles north of Thorp Green. Several years after leaving Thorp Green, she used the area, some of its inhabitants, and her experiences there as models for a large section of her novel, Agnes Grey. Thorp Green became the village of 'Horton', Thorp Green Hall became 'Horton Lodge', and there, Agnes was governess to the Murray children.

One of the more pleasurable aspects of Anne's governess post, was to accompany the family on their annual holidays to Scarborough, and it was with the Robinsons that Anne had her first, and indeed most of her experiences of the resort. In 1843, she obtained a post for Branwell at Thorp Green Hall: he was to take over from her as tutor to the 11 year old Edmund Robinson; however, this ended in disaster a few years later after Branwell had become involved in a secret affair with his employer's wife, Lydia Robinson, and the goings-on were discovered by her husband.

Before we begin, I would like to point out that I wrote an account of my first experience around the Thorp Green/Little Ouseburn area, and you may find it useful to peruse it first - before joining the tour. We'll wait for you here.


Back already? Right, everyone present - then we'll commence:

Map - Thorp Green 

The red dot at 'Thorpe Underwood' indicates the site of Thorp Green Hall, and the mauve dot above Little Ouseburn shows the location of Little Ouseburn Church. The light-green patch to the right of this, and marked 'LP', indicates 'The Long Plantation' - the wood in which Anne wrote her celebrated poem 'Lines Composed in a Wood on a Windy Day' (N.B: These highlights are not given on the larger map - see below).

By clicking on the map, opposite, you can access a larger version of it. When the larger map appears, note the various controls on the left which allow you to zoom in/out/pan the map, etc. (N.B: Some minor lanes are not shown on these maps.) You can also select an aerial view photograph of the area - and zoom in/out with this too! Details of many local hotels, guest houses, weather forecasts, etc., can be accessed from these map pages. The 'map pages' are displayed in a new window; therefore, to return here, merely close-down the new window (or, you can 'toggle' between the two).

Map of Thorp Green area

Our starting point is at the junction of Score Ray Lane and the old Roman 'Green Hammerton-to-Boroughbridge road' (B6265) (just below the yellow dot - near the centre on the map above) - a very quiet, rural location, just over a mile west of Thorp Green. We'll begin by making our way eastwards, between the fields, along the narrow, 1·25 mile long, Score Ray Lane. Haworth lies about 40 miles behind us, though Horton Lodge is 70 miles from Agnes Grey's abode. A little way along the lane we negotiate a tight 'S' bend, continue about another three quarters of a mile, then pause about one hundred yards from the lane junction . . .

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26  -  June  -  99   
Mick Armitage (e-mail)