Family remembers last rock house man of Mansfield

Ancestors of John Bramwell gathered at his graveside on Saturday 2nd May 2015. John Bramwell was the last person to live at the  rock houses on Rock Hill, Mansfield. Born 1915
Ancestors of John Bramwell gathered at his graveside on Saturday 2nd May 2015. John Bramwell was the last person to live at the rock houses on Rock Hill, Mansfield. Born 1915
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A family have marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of an ancestor who became the last man to live in Mansfield’s historic rock houses.

John Bramwell, born on 2nd May 1815 was a father of 10 who lived in one of a row of houses cut into sandstone on Rock Hill.

Dozens of his descendents visited his grave in Mansfield Cemetery this week after his great-great-great granddaughters researched their extended family tree.

Angela Roche (nee Bramwell) said: “My father Walter Bramwell told me from an early age that the “man who last lived in the rock houses” was related to us.

“It was when I was hit with the bug of family research that I discovered the vast Bramwell family tree.

She discovered and met descendants from almost all of John Bramwell’s 10 children.

“The task continues as I still want to find descendants from three of John Bramwell’s daughters Elizabeth, Martha and Ellen,” said Angela.

“The grave where John Bramwell is buried with his wife Sarah and baby granddaughter Ethel is situated in an area of the cemetery that is usually set aside for ‘important people’ of Mansfield. It’s a bit of a mystery why someone who lived most of his life in a cave should be buried in that area of the cemetery and have a grave stone.”

Angela, 56 who lives in Wales was helped in her task by her cousin Pamela Kitchen, 51 of Lake Farm Road, Rainworth.

“Pamela has the family history bug too. So when she can she does a bit of ‘digging’ for me,” said Angela.

Over the years the old rock houses became eroded and virtually disappeared from view. However the rock house that John Bramwell occupied still exists, and sits in a private garden.