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Rockhall Cottage, The Roaches

Rockhall Cottage, The Roaches

Date: 1900 - 1910 (c.)

Description: The building has also been known as Rock Hall and Rock Cottage. In the 1600s there was a cave at the southern end of The Roaches which was inhabited. The names 'Roaches' derives from the French word 'roche' meaning a rock or cliff. By 1770 the dwelling was known as Rockhall. In 1861 Sir Philip Brocklehurst, who owned The Roaches as part of his Swythamley estate, decided to build a Gothic-style shooting lodge into the rock known as Five Clouds. Rockhall Cave was incorporated into the plan, and the lodge soon became an unusual tourist attraction. Sir Philip's gamekeeper and his wife lived at the cottage but they regularly received guests, including the Duke and Duchess of Teck (Queen Victoria's cousin) who visited in 1872.
For most of the 20th century the lodge was occupied by private individuals. In the late 1970s Doug and Anne Moller moved into Rockhall Cottage. Doug was a real character and became known as 'King' or 'Lord of the Roaches'. He caught the attention of the national media because of the primitive conditions in which he and Anne lived, and their altogether unconventional lifestyle. During the twelve years the Mollers lived at the lodge they were visited by many people, curious to meet them. In 1989 the Peak Park joint planning board, which already owned most of the surrounding area took over the property. The house has not been occupied since this time.

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Agriculture & Countryside
Country Parks & Nature Reserves
Quarries, Gorges & Caves

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Donor Ref: ' LP-3-3-Roches  (28/5271)'

Source: Leek Library

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