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  Rock House
 

 

The House

The property, which is now known as Rock House, stands at Tickhill Spital on the north-west corner of Bawtry Road and Stripe Road. There is very little information relating directly to ‘Rock House’; the name does not appear to have been used in official documents, maps or publications until 1915, before then it was simply referred to as Tickhill Spital or Spital Hill. 

One of the earliest references is in the 1766 Enclosure Award, which lists the ‘Proprietor’ of the land and buildings as the Earl of Scarbrough. The 1848 Tithe Map shows the size and shape of the house to be almost the same as that shown on the 1901 Ordnance Survey map, which would suggest the three-storey, timbered-gable house was probably built in the first half of the 19th century; farm buildings appear to form a large right-angled east wing. By the time of its sale in the in the 1930s, it is described as being ‘surrounded by beautiful gardens and grounds and shaded by well grown trees and shrubs’.  

The Occupants

The house and land belonged to the Earl of Scarbrough, and it has been suggested that he used it as a hunting lodge, but who actually lived there is difficult to ascertain because of the vagueness of references to the address.  

For most of the 19th century, a house at Tickhill Spital or Spital Hill appears to have been leased to tenant farmers: firstly to John Jefferson and, from the 1840s, to William Bainbridge, and later his son, also named William. The farm was a considerable size, as the 19th century censuses describe William as being a ‘farmer of 240 acres employing 3 boys’.  

The 1901 Ordnance Survey shows the property to be Spital Hill and from 1904 until1914 both the Doncaster Gazette and Kelly’s Directories list the occupant as a Mrs Foster. The following year, 1915, the address ‘Rock House’ is used for the first time; the occupant is now listed as a Mrs Forster, this may be a spelling error or just a mere coincidence that two women had very similar surnames. To compound the confusion, the occupant from1917-32 was Mrs Sybil Annie Griffith-Forster. In the latter years of the 1930s it was the home of Gerald J. H. Wells. Today (2009), it is has been extended further and is Rock House Residential Home, a home for the elderly.

 


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