The Brontë sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, the famous 19th century novelists, together with their brother, Branwell, were all born in Thornton village, near Bradford, West Yorkshire. Their father, Patrick, mother Maria and two infant sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, moved from Hartshead to 72-74 Market Street, The Old Parsonage, Thornton, on 15th May 1815. Partick Brontë had been appointed Curate at the Old Bell Chapel in Thornton, which was reached from a footpath across the fields. In 1815, Market Street was the main road to Bradford. Thornton generally was a desolate place, standing amongst bleak open countryside.
The Brontës birthplace is now surrounded on all sides, but in 1815, Thornton consisted of not more than two hundred buildings, including three pubs. The frontage on the right hand side of the building was added in 1898 and was used as a butcher’s shop. The family moved to the Parsonage in Haworth in 1820, when the Reverend Patrick Brontë took up a new appointment. The building in Market Street was opened as a museum by the Brontë Birthplace Trust from the 1990s until 2007.