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Extracted by Kay Collins, 2007 from a locally held photocopy
Round House - notes by J. E. Smith

This selection of notes is from those recorded by Joseph Enos Smith during
the early 20th century in preparation for writing a town history. Some were
noted after talking with the older folk of the village and are the only record
of some events or buildings.

1916 May 6. The Round House

I have just been up to see old William Clayton, Harboro’ Road, who helped pull down the Old Round House to ask what it was built of and he at once said bricks, it had also a brick roof with a ball on the top and that the bricks were carted up old Margets Yard (Saturday May 6th 1916. J. E. Smith.)

Mr. Jonathan Austin told me the same that it was built of bricks, with a brick roof.

Mr. Michael Mason, presented the Chestnut tree in the centre of the green and Mr. John Odell Whitehead planted it before Oct. 30th. 1853. (John Odell Whitehead buried October 30th 1853 aged 56. His name is crossed out in register. No clergyman signed his name.)

Old Mrs. Margetts told me on Sunday June 18th 1916 that she remembered the Old Round House & that it stood a little nearer the front than the tree does, she thinks it was a stone building with a thatched roof, & that it had a great big lock.

Rushden “The Round House”

Mr. Sargeant Knight, son of the late Ebenezer Knight says that he remembers the Round House, about where the chestnut tree stands.

The ‘stocks’ were at the apex and the whipping post was part of the same structure as the stocks. Chestnut tree planted in 1861 a few years after the Round House was demolished according to an entry in the notebook of Ebenezer Knight. An old inhabitant William Clayton, helped to pull down the Round house; still lives in Harborough Road. Harry Wright (does it mean Knight).

(My notes on Round House follows the above in Rushden Argus dated Friday April 28th 1916, page 8, 2 columns. Joseph Enos Smith, Rushden.)

Another writer says that the Round House stood about 10 to 12 feet inside the railings on Green just opposite Church gates, the old stocks stool about 10 feet away, south. He remembers the Old Poste standing, Turnpike was narrow then and about 10 feet of the green thrown into it.

He remembers the Old Iron Gates of Spinney Gardens being taken off, the gates about six or seven feet square and heavy, they were put on the roof of Round house, on Mop Pail day. The ‘Pound’ was on the green & kept by Parker & charge 4d. If damage done by cattle they had to pay expenses too.

From “Argus” dated April 28th 1916. (All this page - I have cutting from paper)

1916 July 1 - The Round House 

Old Mr. George Garley says that the Round House was built of brick & if it stood on the Green now (1916 July 1), the tree, Chestnut would almost cover it. He says the stocks were in front of the Round House, opposite church gates, he also says that the Round House was very full of prisoners, one morning & someone called him up to go down and see but when he arrived the prisoners were gone, the blacksmith having drawn the staple and let the lock off, but he got into great trouble through it & was  summonsed.  Garley says he has been inside the Round House scores of times. He also says that Michael Mason presented the Chestnut tree (on Green in centre). William Clayton dug the hole & John Odell Whitehead planted it.

Whitehead died in 1853 so that is settled fairly well & position of Round House, but some says the stocks were at the corner of green near Skinners the butchers – (it says on page 75 of my notes that John Odel Whitehead was buried Oct 30th 1853 aged 56)

Rushden Round House

Mr Thomas Bird (as above), aged 81 years, remembers the old Round House which stood on the site the present (1926, August 9th) Memorial stands. He said that Margetts took it down and a Mr … split up the old Round House for Mrs Margets. Mr Clayton the old (currier’s) gardener told me that he helped Margetts & he (Clayton), wheeled the bricks up Margetts yard. I have some Notes about repair to it & I believe of the building of it (Joseph Enos Smith). I wished they had kept it up, it would have done for a Summer House on the Green.

NRO Ref: 285P/297
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