Rock House

  • 2018. Rock House
  • Probably 1950s. Rock House front
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Rock House is believed to have been built above the edge of the old quarry in Westfield Road in the 17th century above the edge of the old quarry, although it does not appear on the 1813 Enclosure map. It divided the Cleues Pit and the village pit, and it is not known why this survived rather than being demolished to link the two quarries. Perhaps the Cooper family lived here before they built Old House.

Listing details state 'Substantial house. Probably early C18 refronted late C18/early C19. Limestone rubble with ashlar quoins and front; old plain-tile roof with brick stacks. Double-depth plan. 2 storeys. Symmetrical 3-window front has sashes at ground and first floors, and at first floor in returns to gable stacks. Moulded wooden soffit to eaves with modillion blocks. Hipped roof with parallel spans at rear. Linked projecting stacks to left side wall contain central arched entrance. Casements at rear. Interior not inspected'.

According to the street directories, Mrs Way lived here in 1895 and 1899. It is not recorded (Kelly Directory) as to who lived here in 1911 and 1920 but, in 1921 John Rose (John George Rose) age 73 and previously a bachelor living in 1911 at Jessamine Cottage, had moved to Rock House and was now married to Anne Elizabeth, age 59. In 1931, Mrs John Rose, then widowed, lived her and, in 1939, the occupier was Willoughby Guy Bryan. George Henry Walton Jones, his wife and daughter age 10 had moved into Jessamine Cottage.

The Harris family lived there during the second half of the twentieth century, where Mrs Lucia Harris created a beautiful garden which was sometimes open to the public under the National Gardens Scheme. Her husband, Charles Reginald Schiller Harris (1896- 1979) of All Souls College, Oxford, is commemorated in a round slate memorial stone beside the steps leading up to the front door of the house, as are two of his friends: Dermot Michael MacGregor Morrah (1896-1971) and Ruth Morrah (1899-1990).

The photo was taken in 2018.

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