Plans to breathe new life into iconic Red House building

Red House Museum

Kirklees Council has submitted plans to bring the historic Red House in Gomersal back into use as holiday accommodation which celebrates the building’s Bronte links.

The Grade II-listed Red House building, originally built in 1660, opened as a museum in 1970 due to its association with Charlotte Bronte and the Taylor family. The property is mentioned in Charlotte Bronte’s novel ‘Shirley’.

After closing as a museum in 2016, the building – as well as a detached single storey former Cart Shed – has since been predominantly vacant.

Kirklees Council has submitted a planning application to change the use of both buildings to short-term holiday stays, providing a unique holiday stay experience, in buildings which are inextricably linked to Bronte provenance and heritage.

While occupying the same site, the Cart Sheds and Red House can and will operate independently of each other. The House will be available for short-term holiday lets as a single domestic unit, accommodating a single party, under a single booking, of up to 10 guests across five bedrooms.

The Cart Shed would include four self-catering apartments, which could be booked individually, and independently from Red House. The two smaller apartments will cater for up to two guests; the larger apartments will be equipped with a sofa bed to cater for small families.

Because of its romantic associations with the Brontes, and the property’s appeal to heritage-motivated visitors, we anticipate there may be demand from guests staying in Red House to combine their stay with a wedding ceremony within the house. The council would therefore apply to license the main reception hall for small wedding ceremonies, so guests staying in the house may get married as a part of their stay.

If the plans are approved by Strategic Planning Committee, Red House will be available to book for weekly stays, but also short 3-night breaks, over both weekends and mid-week. This means at capacity, there will be a maximum of 2 guest changeovers per week.

In the Cart Shed, there will be a minimum stay of two nights, meaning that when operating at capacity, there will be a maximum of three guest changeovers per week, per apartment.

The plans are now available to read in full and local residents and other stakeholders are invited to take part in the consultation process which ends on 3 January 2022. Just visit to see the plans and comment: Planning application details | Kirklees Council

Councillor Paul Davies, Cabinet Member for Corporate, said: “After being closed for five years, I’m pleased we’re now able to submit such an exciting plan to bring Red House back into use.

“We know local people and fans of the Brontes would be delighted to see Red House open its doors once again. So, we’ve worked hard to deliver the right use which not only recognises and celebrates the cultural and historical significance of the building, but offers it a sustainable financial future to prevent it from having to close again.  This is part of our wider commercial strategy to invest in our heritage assets, making sure they also play a big part in Kirklees’ future as well as our past.”

Councillor Will Simpson, Cabinet Member for Culture and Greener Kirklees, said: “We know literary fans would love the opportunity to stay somewhere which features in a novel penned by one of our country’s most recognisable authors. Better still, house guests can combine their stay with a small wedding ceremony within the Red House building. This is a really exciting plan that will allow us to celebrate the cultural and historical significance of this fantastic site.

“Our plans will now go through the planning process and I encourage people to have their say on them by taking part in the consultation. We want to work closely with local people to make sure we get this absolutely right for them because this is a building that has a special place in our hearts.”