Down Water Lane in the seventeenth century lived a family whose name descends through the village history. In 1611 Robert Darville's wife had a daughter May, who was baptised on March 3rd. Two years later Elizabeth was born, and so the family increased, as did its prosperity. By 1660 the next generation was being taxed at 16s. Od. and by 1673 William Darville was assessed at £1.

By the eighteenth century there were two large families working on the land, so William and Sarah remained at Rose cottage, whilst younger brother Charles and his family built a chalk- block and rag cottage on the east edge of the orchard.

By the beginning of the nineteenth century, Mercy Darville was a young widow with a large family to keep. She remembered how she had been taught to make lace, and she became one of the group of lacemakers in Askett, to help to support her family. She must have had a hard life, making lace at night and by day digging the garden, feeding chickens, and watching where the ducks went as well as the pig, and keeping the fire going for the cooking pot and by 1836 she appealed for help to the Charity Commissioners for the relief of the Poor, and was granted Parish Relief of one shilling and a loaf. This was possibly because the demand for lace made by hand had diminished and she was getting older.

Grandson, Leonard became the village higgler, who took the duck and hen eggs to market, as well as selling the ducks which wandered up the lane. He took some of them to London to sell to restaurants for two shillings and two pence each, using some of the money to plant two hundred rose trees in the garden, which is how the house got its name.

By the mid-twentieth century, the Old Rose Cottage was pulled down and rebuilt, using some of the beams and bricks but with a tile roof. The property was developed and changed hands several times, and the name changed to Clem Cottage in 1987.

Footnote: The curent owners have gone back to the original name, Old Rose Cottage


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