The History of The Round House - Chittene

Renovations


This is how the house looked when we bought it in 1976

The Round House had been for sale since the death of Mrs Poolman, in 1974, and was purchased, in 1976, for only 10500. The ground level surrounding the house was lowered and the walls were injected to combat the damp problem. A hot water tank, a central heating system, an upstairs bathroom and a septic tank were installed. The fireplace in the dining room (now the kitchen) was excavated to reveal the original inglenook and an Aga was installed. The wiring was replaced. Outside, a single brick garage was constructed. Part of the round bedroom was divided off to create a dressing room, a small window was inserted in the south wall to give it light. A shower was installed in what had been a walk-in cupboard.


In 1982 after renovations of the house and garden

Whilst stripping the wallpaper from a wall in the round bedroom above the walk-in cupboard I had a surprise. A large piece came off very easily and underneath it was a large hole in the wall about 18 inches square. It was framed by a rectangle of wood which must have held in place the piece of hessian material that now lay in my hands attached to the back of the wallpaper. The hole was black and I was too frightened to put my head inside. Dave was not so squeamish and by torchlight he discovered a cavity formed of rough stonework and wooden beams approximately 3 - 4 feet wide, 2 feet high and 3 feet deep. It was completely empty and occupied the space alongside the huge chimney between the two different roof heights.

We found another puzzle when creating a hatchway into the round end roof space. The ceiling plaster was cleared between two rafters, but the way up was still blocked by solid wood. When a way had been sawn through and we were finally into the roof space where no-one had set foot for almost a century, we could see that the whole floor was boarded with wide elm boards and in one corner was the top step of a stairway and a newel post. Why?
Why would someone go to all that trouble and then seal it off? Why indeed, would anyone build such a beautiful structure, with a semi-conical roof, with rooms of georgian proportions and decorations so completely unlike the rest of the house, attached to a simple cottage?

When studying the Rev. Canner's visiting book, Ref. 1109/15 WSRO, I found that he referred to our house as Tower House. So, could this be a clue to it's former height? SR

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