'Tabby and the young servant were ill in bed...'

Although we do not know exactly where the Parsonage inhabitants slept all of the time, there was always at least one live-in servant, and this was her bedroom. For thirty years the Brontës were served by a local woman, Tabby Aykroyd, who came to work at the Parsonage when she was in her fifties. Tabby was described in 'The Life of Charlotte Brontë' as a 'thorough specimen of  a Yorkshire woman of her class, in dialect, in appearance, and in character... Her words were far from flattery; but she would spare no deeds in the cause of those whom she kindly regarded.'


Tabby must have been a comforting presence to the motherless Brontë children. She became more of a family friend than a servant, and died at the age of eighty-four, just a few weeks before Charlotte in 1855. Martha Brown, the sexton's daughter, came to the Parsonage at the age of 11 to assist Tabby. She also remained with the family for many years, and both women are buried in the churchyard, close to the Parsonage garden wall.

Originally this room was entered by means of an outside stone staircase. The original doorway has been partly uncovered. Also visible is part of a mullioned window which was probably blocked up in the Brontës' time, during alterations to the house.

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