COWAN BRIDGE SCHOOL
Cowan Bridge School refers to the Clergy Daughters' School, a school mainly for the daughters of middle class clergy founded in the 1820s. It was first located in the village of Cowan Bridge in the English county of Lancashire, where it was attended by the BrontĂŤ sisters. Two of the sisters, Maria and Elizabeth died of tuberculosis in the aftermath of a typhoid outbreak at the school. In the 1830s the school moved to Casterton, a few miles away, where it was amalgamated with the local girls' school.
Conditions in the school The Cowan Bridge school imposed a uniform on the children known as the Charity children, which humiliated the BrontĂŤs, who were among the youngest of the boarders. They suffered sarcasm from the older children; Charlotte especially, who due to her short sightedness, had to hold her nose to the paper to be able to read or write. They slept two in a bed with their heads propped up, rising before the dawn, taking their morning ablutions in a basin of cold water shared with six other pupils, that had often frozen over during the cold night for lack of heating. They descended for an hour and a half of prayers before breakfasting on often burned porridge. This is similar to Jane Eyre, where they get both burnt porridge and frozen water. They began their lessons at half past nine, to end at noon followed by recreation in the garden until dinner, a meal taken very early.