Braithwell, Micklebring and Clifton History and Heritage

Climbing to Clifton: Rose Cottage and Beacon Ridge

by Trudy Pankhurst-Green


If you return along the Crookhill Golf Course Drive to the main road it is possible to find the Ted Hughes’s ‘lake’ amongst the trees on the left. Beware of Golf Balls! At the entrance turn left to retrace your steps past the Hob Loft to the left turn for Clifton. The lane descends steeply to the Denbrooke and then begins the steady climb to the edge of the village. Clifton’s steep cliff, a favourite ‘climb’ for cyclists, then becomes obvious!  The 1970s bungalows high on the left are reached from Lidgetts Lane and have a magnificent view over Conisbrough Park to the Castle and beyond. Field names indicate that this viewpoint was probably part of the Moot or medieval meeting place for the business of the village. The sloping field sometimes shows ancient plough marks and is now used for Clifton Alpacas.

Beacon Ridge and Rose Cottage

On the right, Beacon Ridge was built in the 1960s by Harold Phillips, a teacher at Northcliffe School, Conisbrough and an enthusiastic botanist. The house was built to be light and airy, along the lines of domestic architecture that the Harold and Ira had admired during their years in Cyprus soon after their marriage. Extra land to the north of the house was purchased to enable Harold to follow his interests in raising plants and exploring the lives of bees.

The gardens and orchard were always beautifully maintained but the northern area was allowed to develop naturally. The land had once been a field for raising pigs, but Harold preferred bees. He turned part of the foundations of Rose Cottage into a pond and sitting area.



Planning permission was granted for a house on this plot because it was the site of an ancient cottage, believed to be the oldest in the village. People regretted the demolition of the cottage as it had often been a romantic subject for artists.

                                                            Rose Cottage, Clifton demolished became Beacon Ridge 001.jpg

In 1838 tiny Rose Cottage, originally owned by the Lord of the Manor (the Duke of Leeds), was occupied by Joseph Shaw (63 yrs, agricultural labourer), his wife, Tabiatha (66yrs) and his son, David (24yrs, Wheelwright).They had a small croft to provide basics for his family, but David could have worked for Henry Peace (Wheelwright) across the road at Hall Farm.

Bill and Emily married after Mr Blackwell died

By the 1940s Rose Cottage was the home of the Taylor and Blackwell family, including seven children. Mrs Blackwell provided drinks and provisions, particularly for carters watering their horses at the spring after the first climb and before the climb through the village. There was a was a trough for this purpose at Well Lane (or Watery Lane). The Stannard children, Mrs Blackwell's grandchildren, living in Beech House Farm  cottages in the 1950s would be sent for the pure drinking water from this spring.

The road is steep with a high stone wall on the left and on either sides are the remains of the avenue of beech trees, probably planted by the Woodyeare family, that gave Beech House Farm its name. At the junction with Well Lane and the drives to Beech House. Well View and Hall Farm there is a flat space where horses could rest and take water at the trough.