Location: Scarborough, Yorkshire, England, UK
Surnames/tags: Rowntree King Gavan_Duffy
This space is to document the history of Westwood Villa (later Westwood, later Westwood House, and Ravens Court) on Westwood, Scarborough, North Yorkshire and its inhabitants. It is a work in progress. Work on buildings other than Westwood Villa is particularly welcomed.
The inhabitants of other buildings on Westwood may be added later.
As originally built, Westwood Villa consisted of four rooms on two floors, and possibly attic rooms. Then, and now, the building had two fronts: a front to the road, and a front to the garden. From the road front, the building looked like the classic chilidren's drawing of a house, with a central front door, a window on either side with a window on the first floor above each of those on the ground floor, a slate-tiled roof above. The building was brick, probably rendered even then.
Inside the front door was a t-shaped or cross-shaped corridor. To the left (town-ward) side, was the kitchen, which continued in this function to the present day. It is marked by the huge window which is typical of kitchen windows. The function of the room to the right is not known. The cross-corridor contained a staircase to the first floor, and at the townwardside, a door to the lane running down to the coach house and giving access to the garden. From the corridor on the garden-front side were two rooms, the one to the left, townwardside, opposite the kitchen was possibly a dining room, the one to the hillwardside was possibly a drawing room. There may have been a corridor, or a garden room, between the two, leading to the garden, or both or one room may have had a door. At the first floor level, there were two bedrooms on the road-front, and two on the garden-front - the garden front rooms possibly having a dressing-room between them.
In 187?3 an additional, full height extension was placed on the townward side end: it was 'the Nursery Extension', and followed the pattern of two rooms from a corridor of the rest of the house. The garden front room was linked to the ?dining room by a double door. The road front room appears to have been a series of ancillary domestic rooms including a scullery and a toilet.
At the time the extension was built (?or after) a tower was erected at the townward/road corner. Above the domestic rooms was a bathroom, and a toilet above the one on the ground floor. At the attic level, was a low rooom looking out of a gable window to the garden front, a room with a sink above the two toilets below, and an entry room and low- ceilinged room in the tower. Above this room was a high ceilinged room, with windows on all four sides (partly obscured on one by the staircase leading to the roof.
There have been three tales told to the current occupants about why the tower was built. First, that Westwood Villa was the first domestic building in Scarborough, to have water piped into the house, and the first to have an inside toilet: tower was needed to hold the water tanks storing the water which was piped up manually. The second is that the tower was built in response to the second building erected on Westwood, just to the hillwardside: the addition of the tower meant that the Villa was still the tallest building on the road. Third, that the tower was built for [name], who was a keen amateur photographer and artist, with the tower giving him the ability to paint and photograph the superb panoramas in both fair weather and foul (it is not heated though, and can get very chilly!). The room with the sink at the attic floor was used as a dark room: the glass in the windows was red.
At some point, the windows on the garden front were replaced with bay windows, a small loggia running between the pair on the ground floor.
At some point, two dormer windows were placed in the attics above the windows of the rooms below.
At some point, a new gable was constructed above the room to the right of the front room, giving a full height room at the attic level, looking over Westwood and the railway.
At some point many ancillary buildings were constructed between the kitchen / scullery and the road, and the hillward end was extended with flat roofs and a garage.
Westwood Villa was split into two in ??? The townward side was retained by the Rowntree family, the hillward side, now named Melrose, was sold. Melrose had the front door, and the ?former garden room / passage) and the rooms to the right as one entered. A new staircase was added, giving access to the two bedrooms and ?dressing room - it thus extended slightly over the ground floor of Westwood House.
The Melrose part was purchased by ???
The Westwood part was home to Allan Rowntree until his death in 1940, when he directed that the house, and his other property, be sold to provide an annuity to his widow Mary Miller (then resident with Allan's son by his first wife).
The Westwood part of the villa was purchased by Alan King who used the lobby and the rooms immediately to left and right of the inner lobby for his physiotherapy practice. The room to the left, overlooking the garden and the Valley was used for dry work, the room to the right, overlooking the drive and Westwood road was used for wet work. Alan lived here with his wife Pamela (Watson) King and daughter Sandra (King) Gavan-Duffy and also her husband, Charles Frank Gavan Duffy.
In the ???? Melrose was renamed Raven Court.
In ??? Melrose was split into a garden flat (1 Raven Court) and a maisonette (2 Raven Court). 2 Raven Court included the lane running down the hill, and the lower part of the garden on that side, totether with a yard running to the road. 1 Raven court included the garden nearest the house, and the garage together with the land between the garage and Westwood's drive.
In Westwood, Sandra ran a nursery school in the rooms which had formerly been her father's physiotherapy offices. She and Charles raised three children here, and their grandchildren were raised or played here.
In her later years, Sandra sold Westwood House as it was then called, to her neighbours at Number 1 Raven Court, and her neighbours bought Westwood House at the same time.
In 2012? the owners of Westwood sold the access lane to the townwardside which lead to Cherry Trees and the stables, and lower part of their garden, and the owners of 2 Raven Court sold their garden to a developer who built a small number of houses on the land.
This page is a work-in-progress: currently adding the occupants of Westwood Villa and successors. The framework for adding further buildings is the next task.