Haworth Parish Church


Haworth Parish Church

The oldest part of the church which still remains standing today is the tower which dates back to the 15th Century.

It is estimated that around 40,000 people are buried in the churchyard, the burial registers go back to 1645.

In 1849 the graveyard being overcrowded and badly drained was affecting the already poor sanitation in Haworth, Patrick Bronte requested that improvements be made regarding sanitation. Benjamin Herschel Babbage (son of Charles Babbage the Mathematician) visited Haworth and recorded the facilities for the General Board of Health.

His report published in 1850 described the sanitation as being poor to the public health, with inadequate fresh water facility. It stated that 41.6% of children in Haworth died before the age of 6, average life expectancy was 24. The diaries from the school history are testament to the poor health of the children; smallpox, measles, whooping cough, scarlet fever are mentioned frequently as are the deaths of the children.

There were 69 privies in the whole village, one to every 4½ houses. Some people drank from water contaminated from open drains. Many of the houses were damp due to backing on to higher ground that was continually seeping water from higher up. There were many cases of typhus, dysentery, smallpox and consumption.

Babbage requested that gravestones were not to be laid flat on the ground as they were limiting the growth of shrubs which would help with decomposition. The trees were planted in the 1860’s.

The Brontes are buried in a vault inside the church , except Anne who was buried at Scarborough.


Information from the below site.



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