A NEW plaque has been installed at Anne Bronte’s grave in Scarborough to ensure that visitors will be able to read the inscription for years to come.
The grave, which is located in St Mary’s Churchyard, has been subject to weathering and erosion over the years and had become illegible in places.
In 2010 the Bronte Society commissioned a survey of the headstone to see if the erosion could be halted.
The professional opinion, supported by York diocesan buildings officers, was that the fabric of the stone was now so compromised that nothing could be done to stop the erosion.
The Bronte Society then embarked on a wide consultation of interested parties to see what might be done.
Those included in the discussions were St Mary’s Church Council, diocesan officers, Scarborough Borough Council and visitors to the grave.
Stephen Whitehead, a conservation officer with the Bronte Society, said: “The overwhelming view was that the original stone should be left where it stands but a new plaque, interpreting the fading original should be installed.
“The plaque, which has been executed by J G Gardiner Ltd of Bridlington, is of slate, a native material that will last much longer than sandstone.
“It is now in situ and the Bronte Society would like to thank the officers of St Mary Church and the York diocese for their help and cooperation.”
The Rev Martyn Dunning, of St Mary’s Church, said he was delighted with the new addition.
He said: “The headstone had become quite difficult to read, which was detracting from people’s enjoyment of their visit to the site.
“The new plaque is a really good solution, which gives people the best of both worlds.
“There is a lot of interest in the grave and I think this will keep people coming for many years to come.”
He has already had excellent feedback from a number of visitors to the site.
Anne Bronte, the youngest of the three world-famous Bronte sisters, died in Scarborough at the age of 29 in 1849.
The plaque explains that there is a mistake on the original headstone inscription, which states that Bronte died aged 28.