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Ross-on-Wye

The John Kyrle Summer House

The John Kyrle Summer House was commissioned by John Kyrle circa 1700. It is likely that it was not an actual summer house but more of a retreat where he could come with his special friends to smoke and drink. The original summer house was a much smaller affair located to the west of the current building and was more of a store and shelter for use with the bowling green.

The Summer House was converted to a Folly in 1820 by Mr. Cary-Cocks, who had a chemists shop in Man of Ross House, and Prince George of Cambridge visited it in 1835.

John Kyrle Summer House
John Kyrle Summer House
(Click for a larger image)

In 1991 the building was converted into the private residence as seen today (during a special open day to celebrate John Kyrle's birthday on the 22nd May 2010).

The window on the right hand side was added by the current owner circa 1991 and the front porch and pinnacles were added in around 1800. Therefore when John Kyrle was using the building it would have been very dark inside as there were only windows on the back side of the building.

The piece of stonework protuding from the front of the pinnicle used to be a stone head, like the one on the right below which was dug up in the garden.

Pinnicle on Summer House
John Kyrle Summer House
(Click for a larger image)
Carved stone head
Carved stone head
(Click for a larger image)

The garden was originally part of the John Kyrle bowling green which is bounded on the south side by the stone Rectory wall and the main site of the bowling green is where Watsons car park, off Church Street, is now.

Site of John Kyrle`s bowling green
Site of John Kyrle`s bowling green
(Click for a larger image)

The garden was converted to the present knot garden in 1820 by Mr. Cary-Cocks. By 1900 it had fallen into disrepair until was restored in 1994. Before it was restored it was possible to see the layout of the garden but many of the Box trees were missing. The garden features all original features such as the corner stones and sundial.

John Kyrle Summer House and knot garden
John Kyrle Summer House and knot garden
(Click for a larger image)
Man of Ross Summer House
John Kyrle in the knot garden
(Click for a larger image)

Swan made from horse teeth
Swan made from horse teeth
(Click for a larger image)

This swan mosaic, which is in the porch, is constructed from horses teeth which are reputed to have been taken from the horses that fell during the Civil War battle for Wilton Bridge.


Although none of the John Kyrle Gazebo remains the steps and the pillars that supported chains that edged the steps still remain.

Site of John Kyrle`s Gazebo
Site of John Kyrle`s Gazebo
(Click for a larger image)
Stone pillar
Stone pillar
(Click for a larger image)

Stone pillar
Green Man
(Click for a larger image)

The garden has a large number of interesting features and this Green Man is yet another example!


Postcard views

These are views of the John Kyrle Summer House, Ross. The left hand postcard was posted in 1903 to the Post Office at St. Fagans in Cardiff. The right hand postcard was posted in 1907 to Pear Orchard Farm near Dursley.

Summer House
The John Kyrle Summer House, Ross (No 93)
[Published by Burrow, Cheltenham - posted 1908]
(Click for a larger image)
Man of Ross Summer House
Ross - Man of Ross' Summer House
(Click for a larger image)



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[Page updated: Jun 09 2012 21:45:08]






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