News and press releases

  • Royal Mail
    31 July 2018
    READER, I DELIVERED HIS MAIL: BRONTË SISTERS INSPIRE NEARLY 8,000 UK ADDRESSES
  • As the bicentenary of Emily Brontë’s birth approaches, new research from Royal Mail unveils that almost 8,000 UK addresses have been inspired in some way by the iconic author and her sisters, their lives and their collective works.
  • Two per cent (over 5,500) of the nation’s house names have a link to the family and their work in some way, ranging from ‘Wuthering Heights’ in the West Midlands to ‘Eyre Court’ in North London. 
  • The austere Edgar Linton, brooding Heathcliff and pragmatic Jane Eyre are the most cited characters within Brontë-related addresses, with well over 3,000 delivery points looking to classic figures within the sisters’ novels as muses for the nation’s street and house names.
  • The BD postcode area - which contains the birthplace for the Brontë children - has the largest number of linked addresses. However, many smaller market towns, including St. Albans, Wallington and Borehamwood, contain a particularly large proportion of addresses related to the family, in relation to their size.
  • There are over 700 British streets and houses that directly use the family moniker, ranging from ‘Brontë House’ in Kent to ‘Brontë Walk’ in Bridlington, Yorkshire.

The subversive Brontë sisters did more than rouse the world with their novels and poems; they inspired thousands of UK addresses.

As the bicentenary of Emily Brontë’s birth approaches, research from Royal Mail reveals that the sisters’ collective legacy extends to the naming of almost 8,000 British addresses. Over 600 towns and cities across our fair isle contain at least one address referencing the sisters, their lives and/or their works.

The Company’s Address Management Unit analysed over 30 million addresses to investigate the full extent of the impact that Charlotte, Emily and Anne have had on our country’s psyche.  Although the ‘BD’ postcode area, which includes the sisters’ birthplace and childhood home, contains the greatest number of related addresses, many smaller market towns - such as St. Albans, Bromyard and Dewsbury - contain a particularly high proportion of related addresses.

The top 20 ‘Brontë hotspots of the UK’ are as follows:

  1. London (1,100)
  2. Salford, Greater Manchester (145 street and house names)
  3. St. Albans, Hertfordshire (115) =
  4. Leeds (115) =
  5. Southampton, Hampshire (100)
  6. Cardiff (101)
  7. Bradford, Yorkshire (99)
  8. Croydon, London (94)
  9. Romford, Essex (90)
  10. Manchester (80)
  11. Dewsbury, Yorkshire (86)
  12. Cambridge (76)
  13. Bristol (73)
  14. Borehamwood, Hertfordshire (54)
  15. Wallington, Sutton (51)
  16. Exmouth, Devon (50)
  17. Basingstoke, Hampshire (48)
  18. Bromyard, Herefordshire (47)
  19. Sale, Cheshire (46)
  20. Bournemouth, Dorset (45)
  21. Southend-On-Sea, Essex (38)

Some two per cent (5,559) of the nation’s named homes have looked to the famous sisters for inspiration; with houses ranging from ‘Linton’ in Aberdeenshire, to ‘Eyre Place’ in Merseyside. 

Some other fascinating facts unearthed by the research include:

  • Over 700 British streets and houses directly use the Brontë family name, including ‘Brontë Gardens’ in Exeter and ‘Charlotte Brontë Drive’ in Droitwich.
  • The eternal love rivalry between Edgar Linton and Heathcliff prevails in the nation’s addresses, as the two are the most popular characters from the sisters’ novels to feature in British addresses.
  • Jane Eyre is a similarly popular figure, with over 200 ‘Eyre’ Roads, Mews and Streets spanning the country.
  • Some of the sisters’ less well-known works, including ‘Agnes Grey’ and ‘Villette’, have served as inspiration for house names. Ten ‘Villette’ houses span the nation, along with the ‘Agnes Grey House’ estate in Scarborough, Yorkshire.

Steve Rooney, Head of Royal Mail Address Management Unit commented: “Street, house and building names chiefly reflect our nation’s heritage and primary interests.As a country with such a proud literary heritage, it’s wonderful to see the full extent that the Brontë sisters and their genius has had on the British psyche.”

“Interestingly, many smaller towns based in rural areas often specifically look to novelists from the last two to three hundred years for street naming inspiration, which is why there are so many smaller market towns named as ‘Brontë hotspots.”

Rebecca Yorke, Head of Communications and Marketing at the Brontë Society said:“The Brontës have inspired readers for over 150 years, so it’s not surprising that they have also inspired the naming of buildings and streets across the UK.  Charlotte, Emily and Anne were all avid letter-writers and it’s very fitting that their names, as well as those of the characters they created, appear on correspondence to this day.”

Royal Mail is also marking the bicentenary of Emily Brontë’s birth with a special postmark. The postmark will appear on mailed items around the UK from July 28th

Ends

 

For further information contact:

Royal Mail press office

0207 449 8246

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Royal Mail plc is the parent company of Royal Mail Group Limited, the leading provider of postal and delivery services in the UK and the UK’s designated universal postal service provider. UK Parcels, International and Letters (“UKPIL”) comprises the company’s UK and international parcels and letters delivery businesses operating under the “Royal Mail” and “Parcelforce Worldwide” brands. Through the Royal Mail Core Network, the company delivers a one-price-goes-anywhere service on a range of parcels and letters products. Royal Mail has the capability to deliver to more than 29 million addresses in the UK, six days a week (excluding UK public holidays). Parcelforce Worldwide operates a separate UK network which collects and delivers express parcels. Royal Mail also owns General Logistics Systems (GLS) which operates one of the largest ground-based, deferred parcel delivery networks in Europe.