BEACON HILL- built c.1868 (Listed)
Architectural description - Victorian house in the Italianate manner, stucco, of 2 storeys and a low pitched roof. South entrance front originally of 4 bays (the right end has lost about 15ft in war damage), now has open pediment ending abruptly at right. Wide boxed eaves with brackets, entrance porch in centre, left canted and right square single storey bays (? added), and all openings are round headed in architraves with keystones, often grouped in pairs or threes. The West front has an open pediment on left and a rectangular bay on right.
Style - The stucco is a continuation of a tradition, c.f. its use in Kensington etc., and with its narrow arched window openings absolutely characteristic of villas in terraces of Victorian England, c.f. terrace on even numbered side of Princes Road. The small round arches in groups of three, with their keystones, and the arched dormer on the rear (North) front is also a motif of around the 1860s. The open pediment and wide boxed eaves are also characteristic of the time.
Owners and Occupiers - We first find Alexander Rodger (1818-1891) at Beacon Hill in 1868, in 1871 he is described as a merchant (Argentine) of R. Best & Co, Imperial Chambers, Dale St. He was 53 and he and his wife Jane 49 had been born in Scotland, they had 3 children - a daughter 24 born in Montevideo, 2 sons James 21 & John G. 18 born in B.A., with 4 servants - the coachman living in. By 1881 he had retired, John Graham was a wool broker and they had 5 servants including a butler. In 1891 Alexander died in Wales, leaving £72,495, and in 1895 John G. Rodger becomes the owner occupier. By 1900 John had land & a stable in Quarry St. R.V. £16 as well as Beacon Hill and he continued here until his death in 1921, by that time a J.P. and leaving £101,913. Briefly, Graham Douglas Rodger appears in Gore for 1922 but from 1924-1927 the occupier is Major William Ed. Stirling Napier.
In 1930 Edward L. Boston of the Garston Tanning Co. is living here and he continues until at least 1936.
The house was requisitioned by the War Dept in the last war and since has been in use in connection with Abbots Lee.
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