County Down is the place where Patrick, the father of the famous Bronte sisters, was born and raised.
The family, including the aunts and uncles of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, lived in and near the towns Banbridge and Rathfriland.
The father of these world famous sisters was born Patrick Brunty on March 17, 1777, Saint Patrick’s Day. The buildings and ruins of buildings that figured most prominently in Patrick’s life are included in the area of the Bronte Homeland Interpretative Centre:
- Drumballyroney Church and School – The buildings where Patrick first preached and taught school, they now form the heart of the interpretative centre, featuring displays that focus on the lives of the famous family.
- Bronte Homeland Picnic Site – the place where the family once picnicked remains, and is still used by today’s visitors. It is located near the ruins of a shebeen, or an old clandestine drinking house.
- Alice McClory’s Cottage – the birthplace and early home of Patrick’s mother.
- The birthplace Cottage – the place where Patrick Brunty was born.
- Glascar School – the site of the school where Patrick built his reputation as an innovative teacher in the 1790’s. He was reportedly dismissed from his position after a rumored romantic encounter with a student.