Rock House's History

The following history has been assembled from records available from the county records, the house deeds, and local gravestones in Stanton in the Peak graveyard and Youlgreave graveyard.

In the 1750- 1760's the house was built by Paul Prince (Yeoman) the first records mention the house when he died in 1767. The old maps circa 1780 show a smallish dwelling on the north side of the main street of the village, at this time the village Church (C of E) and Wesleyan Chapel had not been constructed. Most of the inhabitants of the village at this time were working for the local large estate either on the land or in the landowner's quarry, and living in village cottages rented from the Estate [these cottages mostly have a Monogram WPT carved in the lintel above the main door.] Paul Prince was however a freeman and was well off for the period in owning his own cottage. He left the property to his son (also a Paul Prince) when he died and it remained in the same family for approximately the next 200 years. The decendants of the family still live locally.

Extracts from the documents are given here:-

Paul Prince by Deed of gift to his beloved son, Paul Prince jnr (Son) on 26th October 1767 Paul Prince jnr died in December 1786.

He willed the property to his wife Elizabeth for her lifetime, then their son, John Prince inherited it. John Prince died on March 31st 1850 aged 84. He is buried in Youlgreave Cemetery With his wife Mary and son Paul (who predeceased him in 1844, aged 32).

John Prince's last will & testament split the ownwership of the house into two parts.

(1).Area of present sitting room and utility room to daughter Anne Prince

(2).Area of present dining room and kitchen to daughter Rachel Prince - this part of house was used as a shop.

Rachel Prince was married to Henry Fryer and had a daughter, Mary Anne Fryer in 1849 Rachel died in 1853, aged 38, and is buried in Youlgreave Cemetery

Her daughter Mary Anne was brought up by her Aunt Anne in Rock House (Henry Fryer remarried and had ten further children). In her 50's Anne Prince married widower John Kemp from Cow Close Farm (close by Stanton near Birchover)- they lived in the house and ran the shop there (shown in 1861 census as grocer) John Kemp died 1866, aged 66; Anne died 1870, aged 61

In her will Anne Prince left the house to her niece, Mary Anne Fryer.

Mary Anne married Herbert Prince (who we believe was related) and he ran the grocer shop. At some time around the year 1890, Herbert Prince rebuilt Rock House as a two-storey building using much of the original materials.

Mary Anne died on 17th January 1918 aged 68 and is buried in Stanton Cemetery.

Her will left the house to her husband for his lifetime - he died 28th January 1921 aged 73. It then was owned by their eldest son James Prince.

James married Mary Bell on 29th August 1917 and lived in the house from 1927 till his death on 25th January 1951. James is buried in Stanton Cemetery. James's will left property to his wife Mary Bell Prince.

The house was then sold out of the family for the first time in its existance on 30th July 1958. It has subsequently belonged to 3 further families.

Persons hiring the cottage may inspect copies of the old documents upon request.

The cottage was built of local Gritstone, and has low internal doors, approximately 5'6" high which it is possible to 'crack one's head' if not paying attention. The walls are approximately 2 ft to 4 ft thick at the lower level, and the lower floors are now tiled with quarry tiles, previously they would have been earth.

There is a store shed on the south side of the street, this used to have animal stalls istalled where pigs and cows had been kept. This is now used to store the coal.

Electricity and plumbing was installed sometime in the 1930's, Previously the night soil collector would come around daily to collect the waste 'Night Soil'.

Gas was finally brought to the village in 1995, but the house which had previously had Solid Fuel central heating installed and bottled gas heaters for use in the summer has not been connected to the mains supply.

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Maps of 1817 & 1881 AD.