A WORLD famous literature society has appealed for a museum to be spared from cutbacks.
Red House Museum at Gomersal could be closed on weekdays by Kirklees Council from September.
The council revealed earlier this month that it was considering shaving hundreds of thousands of pounds from its budget by slashing all its museum opening times and staffing levels.
The closure of Red House on weekdays from the end of September and to have weekend only winter opening is being floated to generate a full year effect saving of £116,000.
The site – which includes period gardens, a Brontë gallery and Spen Valley local history exhibition – had 28,602 visitors last year.
But the move has shocked the Haworth-based Brontë Society, which says Charlotte Brontë visited the house several times.
Red House was built in 1660 and was the home of the Taylor Family until 1920.
In the 1830s Charlotte Brontë frequently visited her friend Mary Taylor there and the house, the Taylor family and the Spen Valley area were all featured in her novel Shirley. The museum currently illustrates the period and the Brontë connections with recreated 1830s gardens
Brontë Parsonage director, Andrew McCarthy, said they were appealing to members, literature fans and the public to object to the plan.
He said: “Red House has significant connections with the Brontës.
“The plan did come as something of a shock and the Brontë Society has written to the council to express our views.
“I think we’re all aware that local authorities are having a tough time balancing budgets but from our perspective, in terms of its heritage, we would be very sad to see it close.”
Mr McCarthy said he hoped that councillors would “think very carefully” about what they were doing as Mary Taylor was also a significant historical figure.
He added: “Apart from the connections with Charlotte Brontë, Mary Taylor was a remarkable figure as well, an early forerunner of feminism.
“We’ll have to see what happens at the meeting and consider our options.”
Kirklees Council is accepting feedback by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.