Pictures of the Past : The ‘Round House’, Curbar

Old Photograph of The ‘Round House’ (Curbar)

This photograph is from a collection belonging to the late Miss Joan Hollingsworth, of Sir William Hill Road, Grindleford. Miss Hollingsworth lived in the Round House for the summer of 1935, but soon after, it was condemned by the local authority as a dwelling house, and its re-conditioning would not be considered, much to her great disappointment.

It was reputedly designed as a bath house by Mr. James Hilton Hulme, of Cliff House, better known today as Cliff College,[1] to be fed by a spring, on the hillside nearby. This would have been in the mid 19th century, when the medicinal benefits of spring bathing (“the water cure”) were just beginning to be appreciated, and a bath house on one's estate was the epitome of fashion.

Since then, it has been occupied by many eccentric characters, including an an old ex-sailor, who had worked as a navvy laying a pipe track for the Derwent Water Board - as a homage to his former occupation, he would place the model of a ship at the apex of the roof when he was in residence. He lived there for some years after the pipe track was completed, and is said to have earned a living making intricately woven leather belts from odds and ends of leather.[2]

In 1967, it acquired “Listed Building” status,[3] where it is recorded as “Lock-Up 250 yards north east of Lane Farm (Formerly Listed as Round House Building)”.

(Information provided by Alan Jacques/Rosemary Lockie)

References
[1] See the account of Cliff College History elsewhere on this website.
[2] Letter to the Derbyshire Times from a resident of Bradwell in August 1960.
[3] “The only official, up to date, register of all nationally protected historic buildings and sites” - Search the National Heritage List for England.
[4] See also Tales from the “Round House” - an article written by Julie Bunting, for publication in The Peak Advertiser.


Image contributed by Alan Jacques on 11th February 2015.
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