Updated 21 Jan 2009

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 596


Rock House, Cromford. View of the North side in Mill Lane, showing early 19th Century extension at the right. It is a listed grade II building

Ariel view of Rock House, with the Mill on the left and the end of Cromford canal and wharf on the right.

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Rock House, Cromford.

Rock House was built about 1776 by Peter Nightingale for Sir Richard Arkwright. The House is next to Arkwright's first cotton mill, and is a three storey brick and ashlar building on a cliff overlooking the mills. In 1789 Arkwright purchased an estate at Willersley from Peter Nighingale and began to build a castle for himself and his family. Unfortunately, just as Willersley Castle was completed, it was partially destroyed by fire in 1790, and the Arkwrights had to wait another two years while it was rebuilding. Sir Richard died at 60 in 1792, before he could ever live in the Castle. Rock House was Sir richard's abode when at Cromford 1776-1792. In the early 1800's, Rock House was extended considerably by the Arkwright family.

Thank you for your support in my family search. I will send you this email in hopes that it is of some value.

As I spoke in my previous email my great grandfather was Herbert Bunting (Cm144a 1901 census) he was born in Bonsall Sept. 26 1852, died Cromford April 10 1920. He move to Cromford where he met and married Maria Woodward Aug 29 1854, died Cromford April 26 1926. They had six children : Census 1901 they lived at #149 28 Main Street Cromford. Their oldest son Henry was my grandfather (Cm144c 1901 census). He married Mary Brace (Md113d 1891 census) of Middleton on Dec. 3rd 1902 Holy Trinity. Henry Bunting was the gardener for the Arkwrights, and lived at Rock House the home of the Arkwrights before Willersley Castle was completed.

Here is a post card of Rock House, The back reads:
"My dearest Husband You will see by this PC we are staying at cromford but are not at Rock House. Polly & Harry are there, but Lizzie and myself are at Jessamine Cottage, and we are alright. Polly comes down to us as soon as she can and then we go out you see --my dear-- they are not allowed to have any visitors to stay in doors only to have a cup of tea with them, Lizzie is alright here it is doing her a lot of good and I feel well never felt better in my life we are going home on Saturday when you receive this PC we shall be at home." circa 1902

One final point, my family had a terrible habit of nick names. My grandfather was "Henry" but all his life they called him "Harry". My grandmother was "Mary Elizabeth" but all her life was known as "Polly".

Doug Bunting
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
BUNTING family in Census: 1901, 1891, 1881, 1871, 1861
Jessamine cottage is in Upperwood Rd, Matlock Bath DE4 3PD.

1852              1854
Herbert   1875    Maria
1920        |     1926
 |     |         |       |     |
1877  1878      1886    1890  1893
Henry Elizabeth Herbert Eliza William
Henry     1902    Mary

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