History of The Old Wash House

Our Georgian cottage was built at the turn of the early 19th Century at "Ford", and cannot be dated precisely, but it was constructed within a row of cottages at the site of the former Mill Pool creek - no longer around since 1823 when New Road (now Victoria Road) was constructed on what used to be tidal mud flats. The Old Wash House is half of a larger house which was divided into two properties around 50 years ago. Interestingly, you can see our cottage and the scullery building on the ordnance survey map of 1886.

Ford was at the head of the creek from the Mill Pool which enabled access across the town between Clifton to the south and Harndess to the north. On some old town maps, this area was referred to as Ford Cross or Ford Green.

Records show that this area was used for washing clothes, and the fields nearby were used to hang clothing to dry.

The Old Wash House Courtyard.jpg

The Old Wash House has original fireplaces, beams, internal doors, cupboards and restored sash cord windows and front door, but has undergone significant renovation and modernisation to transform into the luxury, boutique cottage it is today. But look outside at the pretty, walled garden to the rear of the property......where you will find an outside fireplace, and a further two spaces either side of it. As the whole property is grade II listed and set within a conservation area, the outside fire place is no longer operational, however with the recent addition of a contemporary glass balustrade the courtyard is secure for children and dogs and a wonderful sun trap.

 

All three fire openings have the original ovens set into the wall - using fire to heat the coppers to provide hot water - which is indicative of wash house reconstructions at living musuems.  Water warmed by the coppers would be used to fill the dolly tubs (galvanised metal, ribbed tubs), and the clothes would be washed in these tubs with dolly pegs.

 

Today, we have located dolly tubs around the front and rear of The Old Wash House as planters of standard laurels and box topiary. Our cottage certainly has stories to tell! Styled for contemporary living and full of technology, The Old Wash House also offers significant architectural interest, character and curiosities - both inside and out.

Situated within a conservation area in central Dartmouth, we are sure you will agree that this a unique place to stay!