Discovering Myrtle Ville: Part I
During the last year Will and Sonia Radcliffe have been actively restoring and renovating their home in Main Road, Ballaugh. They have gladly given their permission for Ballaugh Heritage Trust to make a pictorial record of the work as it progresses and to record any interesting revelations.
Unfortunately, restoration of the complete building would have been impossible to achieve as structural damage to the rear of the property was too extensive. However, work is progressing on a great deal of the rest of the house and several interesting facts have emerged.
- Myrtle Ville facade, with Rose Villa on the left.
- showing the original fireplace situated to the left of the left-hand window in Picture No. 1after exposure of the stone walls on the ground floor.
- illustrates a feature located on the front elevation of Myrtle Ville and to the left of the existing front door.
- shows a piece of a first-floor party wall between Myrtle Villa and Rose Villa, clearly indicating a fill in the wall, again constructed of Peel brick.
Taking Pictures 2 and 3 together, there has clearly been an opening either of a window or a door which has been filled in at some time in the past. Another interesting fact shown in Picture 3 is the dividing wall of what looks like Peel brick obviously constructed at a much later date than the original build of Myrtle Ville. The two photographs are starting to indicate that originally Myrtle Ville was not just one cottage but maybe TWO.
During the excavation of this part of the wall exposing this partition, a rather spooky and somewhat humorous event occurred.
Linda Harland of Rose Villa was in her bedroom showing her friend some clothes when suddenly, from what appeared to be coming from inside the wardrobe, a loud knocking sound was heard. On opening the wardrobe doors, the sound got louder and the wardrobe started to shake. The two ladies were by this time beginning to feel quite nervous about the whole occurrence. Soon all was revealed. The noise was, in fact, Will in Myrtle Ville knocking out the last pieces of stone to reveal the bricked up doorway that had led from his house into Rose Villa.
Part II will continue in the next issue of the Newsletter. By then, we might have answers to two questions:
Was Myrtle Ville one or two cottages? Why was there a communicating door between Rose Villa and Myrtle Ville?
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