Anyone who envisages a seaside break in
The Rectory, which the website states now has four bedrooms to sleep seven people, was in the nineteenth century home to nine people - the Rector and his wife, their six children (three boys and three girls), and their maid Ann. Downstairs the two front rooms were the drawing room and the dining room, with the kitchen behind the dining room on the south side. The Rector farmed the glebe fields, and kept a horse, cow, flock of sheep and some pigs - the horse being his transport around the parish. After the Rector had taken a church service, he would not greet each worshipper by the church door, for the congregation would respectfully wait inside the Church until he had ridden away!
At that time it was not just the Rectory that was in a remote position, for the same applied to Rhossili itself, then more of a hamlet than a village. It was separated from Middleton and Pitton by a narrow lane, for only at Pitton Cross was there a road along which a two-horse omnibus could transport passengers and packages to
The Rector’s children all received good education, though it entailed their lodging away from home: the three girls went to
During the Second World War, the former Rectory was a base for workers engaged at Rhossili Down’s radar station, and it acquired a reputation for being haunted. Wynford Vaughan Thomas relates that an overnight visitor to the Rectory had felt a sudden bone-numbing chill, and heard footsteps following him down a dark passageway, before a mocking voice challenged: “Why don’t you turn around and look at me?” More recently the house was featured in an episode of the science fiction TV series “Torchwood”.
Rhossili Rectory’s website contains fine photographs of the renovated interior, and extols the pleasures of a summer alfresco dinner in the garden watching the sun set over the beach. It also mentions that wi-fi is available, though with intermittent connection problems, and an outhouse is suitable for storing surfboards and body boards for surfers in the bay. Of course this isolated property can encounter stormy wintry conditions, such as when the paddle steamer “City of