The Bronte Homeland

Follow the story of Patrick Brontë and his family

Visitors to the Brontë Homeland, Co Down, can follow the story of Patrick Brontë and his family through surviving buildings. The Brontë Homeland drive starts at Drumballyroney Church and School near Rathfriland, 16km south of Banbridge.

Drumballyroney Church and School, Church Hill Road

This is the church where Patrick Brontë first preached and the schoolhouse where he first taught. Both buildings have now been fully restored and include displays about the Brontë family.

Brontë Homeland Picnic Site, Lisnacroppan Road, Knockiveagh

The picnic site at Knockiveagh is an ideal place to stop and see the rolling hills where Patrick Brontë grew up. The picnic area occupies the ruins of a former shebeen—an illicit drinking den—and the Mountains of Mourne provide a scenic backdrop.

Alice McClory’s Cottage, Brontë Road

This cottage was the childhood home of Patrick’s mother Alice McClory. Alice and Patrick’s father Hugh used to court secretly, and some say they eloped and married at Magherally Church, near Banbridge.

The Birthplace Cottage, Brontë Road

Little now remains of the family’s two roomed cottage in the fairy glen at Emdale, but the ruins have been in the care of the Brontë Homeland Trust since 1956.

Glascar School, Glascar Road

Patrick Brontë taught here in the 1790s, although the original schoolhouse was replaced by a more modern building in 1844. He is said to have used enlightened teaching methods to bring out the best in his pupils. He was later dismissed for forming a romantic attachment with one of them.