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Westwood Scarborough

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Date: [unknown]
Location: Scarborough, Yorkshire, England, UKmap
Surnames/tags: Rowntree King Gavan_Duffy
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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. It is a work in progress. Your contribution to this work is welcomed, however small. Work on buildings other than Westwood Villa is particularly welcomed.

The inhabitants of other buildings on Westwood may be added later.

Westwood Villa was built by William Rowntree and his wife Mary (Stickney) Rowntree. It was named for the Westwood area of Beverley (East Riding), beloved of Mary's mother Mary (Butler) Stickney. Both Rowntree and Stickney families were members of the Society of Friends (Quackers).

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 the front door and 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 one two rooms. If two, 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, both or one room may have had a door. At the first floor level, there were two (plus dressing room) or three 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. On the first floor there was large room on the first floor garden front, and above the ground-floor domestic rooms was a bathroom, and separate toilet above the one on the ground floor. The bathroom and new large room facing the garden are at the same height as the other first floor rooms, but as this is slightly above the hight achieved by the staircase in to this part of the house, these are reached by small flights of steps into these rooms. The toilet, however, is at the same level as the floor at the top of the staircace. Another short flight of steps provides circulation to the two bedrooms in the original part of the house.

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. At the time the extension was built (?or after) a tower was erected at the townward/road corner, with an entrance between the toilet and a box room (on the road facing side). The entry to the tower is low- ceilinged room with a round window looking over the road and railway lines. 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 (now part of 2 Raven Villa), 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.

In 1900 Westwood Villa was involved in the pro-Boer-war Riots in Scarborough "Writing his reminiscences in the winter of 1935/6, George Rowntree (1855-1940) says that Mary (Anna Mary (Doncaster) Rowntree (1849-1938)) Rowntree had just given William William Stickney Rowntree) a cup of hot milk when she heard the sound of broken glass from the other side of the house. He also recollects that while his brother John Watson Rowntree (1854-1935) was coming home from the Cafe his sister-in-law, Priscilla, had to hold a counterpane over the bed of her invalid son to ward off stones, which broke the window, a jug and a basin." [1]. It seems likely that the older people were in a bedroom in the quieter garden-side of the house, and that the windows broken were on the road-side of the house.

Westwood Villa was split into two in possibly in the 1920s. 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) Rowntree (then resident with Allan's son by his first wife).

During the second world war "Water tanks or static tanks as they were called were constructed at various places in the town for use in case of incendiary bomb attack. The first were placed in St Thomas Street, Westwood, Trafalgar Square and Prince of Wales Terrace opposite the Ramshill Hotel " At the Boys High School, Westwood, on 31 January, 1941 sixty enrolements were made for the Air Training Corps under a new National Scheme." [2]

A house, "Cherry Trees" was built in the original plot of Westwood Villa. At some point between the taking of the 1939 Register and her death on the 12 May 1961. In her probate record (proven 2 June 1961, Mary took up residence in Cherry Trees. The address at the time of her deathin 1961 is Granville Road rather than Westwood (the Road) as at that time Cherry Trees was accessed from Granville Road. In c. 2015 a new access road was run from Westwood to Cherry Trees. The beneficiary of Mary's estate was Caroline Olive Button [3].

"On 9 January,1945 the Housing Committee recommended the Council to buy the Sandybed Estate and Westwood Garden Estate for the building of temporary houses. There were 2.460 applicants for houses; 804 of them with no home at all [4]

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 osteopathy 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 the ?1950s Raven Court 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. to provide access to the maisonette, an extension was built onto the hillward side, with a staircase down to the ground at the street front of the house. At some point a garage for the maisonette was constructed between the stair bottom and the road, leaving a small passage between the original garage and the new.

In Westwood, Sandra ran a nursery school in the rooms which had formerly been her father's osteopathy 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 (currently working on using the 1921 census) and successors. The framework for adding further buildings to this page is the next task. To be followed by a visit to Northallerton to see the deeds of buildings on Westwood.

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