NZ5711 : Roseberry From Cliff Rigg

taken 8 years ago, near to Newton Under Roseberry, Redcar And Cleveland, Great Britain

Roseberry From Cliff Rigg
Roseberry From Cliff Rigg
Roseberry is in the adjacent square (NZ5712). To the left of the summit where the climb starts to become steep the Summerhouse can clearly be seen.
The Summerhouse :: NZ5712
Shooting Box or folly? What was its purpose? The jury's still out but coming down I think in favour of the latter.

A plaque on the wall erected by the National Trust says it was a shooting box. But the problem with this theory is that some sketches dating to the late eighteen century clearly shows the building. Now the breech loading sporting gun was a Victorian invention. Before that any game shooting was a solitary affair involving dogs to flush out the game.

Follies were frequently erected in strategic positions to enhance the landscape when viewed from the landowners pile. In the eighteen century this land would have been owned by the Rudd family who did not live locally but at Marton-in-Cleveland.

It has been suggested that William Wilson, a distinguished sea captain with the East India Company, commissioned the building but there is no evidence of this. He lived at Ayton Hall in the village and at that time the summerhouse would have been visible from the hall. This theory is now largely discounted.

Another reason to erect a folly would be for resting and enjoyment of the view. This does seem the most probable reason for the building. But would have been a bit cramped for shelter.

Later during the Napoleonic wars it is thought the building provided shelter for militia manning the beacon on Roseberry's summit. It is during this period that the building may have been modified by adding a fireplace and flue and shutters. There is evidence as well that the building once had a raised floor and suspended ceiling.

The plateau on which the building stands is man made onto the seam of ironstone which was to do so much for the prosperity of Teesside. Its roof, comprised of sandstone blocks, has a unique shape. No other building exists with such a design, certainly not in England.

One final theory is that the summerhouse was an early pre-empted attempt at a monument to Capt. James Cook. The summit of Roseberry was discussed as a site as was various designs including a building 'rather like Chinese pagoda'. Eventually of course nearby Easby Moor was chosen as the site for the monument.

Source: mostly 'Roseberry Topping' published by the Great Ayton Community Archaeology Project
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Grid Square
NZ5711, 78 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 6 January, 2010   (more nearby)
Thursday, 7 January, 2010
Field   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 574 117 [100m precision]
WGS84: 54:29.8644N 1:6.8592W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 574 116
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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