History – Timeline

1761 Fort was erected by Captain George Hawker, in 1761 on a piece of common land granted to him the Lord of the Manor on a lease for lives.”

1781 Inherited by his son Joseph Hawker, who sold it the same year to Mr. James Dallaway

  • James Dallaway (1730–87)), banker of Stroud, Gloucestershire

.1791 After James Dalloway’s death it was purchased by Mr. Joseph Grazebrook

  • Joseph Grazebrook was a banker in Stroud and according to Fisher an early partner in Stroud Brewery. He was also responsible for developing Rowcroft.
  • 1841 Census John Stephens – Schoolmaster, Elizabeth Stephens – Wife, John Stephens – Son and 5 students (5-10 years old) and 1 servant.
  • 1843 Report of a fire that destroyed the building –
    Leamington Spa Courier – Saturday 25 November 1843

    • “Rodborough Fort, near Stroud, was almost entirely destroyed by fire, on Tuesday. It has lately been occupied as an academy, and the principal, Mr. Stevens, was absent with his pupils, attending lecture at Stroud, when the flames were first perceived.”
  • 1851 Census  Fort House. John Stephens – Parish Clerk & Registrar of Births, Elizabeth Stephens – Wife, John Stephens – Grandson, Joseph Stephens – Grandson
  • 1861 Census Fort. Elizabeth Stephens – Beer Seller, John Stephens – Grandson – Carpenter Ironmonger, Sarah Stephens – Granddaughter – Seamstress.

1868 Fort purchased by Mr. Alexander Halcombe. of Gloucester and London,

  • Alexander Halcombe employed the Gloucester architect, A.W. Maberly, to rebuild it in 1869-74
  • 1871 Census The Fort. William Higgins – Plumber & Glazier, Sarah Higgins – Dressmaker, Lindell Higgins – Son.
  • 1881 Census Enumerators note ‘family out’. Occupants, Thomas Davis, Groom & Gardner, Mary Davis, Domestic Servant and Agnes Hatter, Domestic Housekeeper.

1885 Fort purchased Mr. Marmaduke Bell,

1900 Inherited by  Marmaduke Charles Alexander Bell

1901 Purchased by Mr Ainge, of Leamington at Auction

  • 1901 Census Fort St George (Lodge) Richard Burge – Caretaker, Barbara Burge – Wife
  • 1901 Mr G Ainge applied to the Rodborough Manorial Court Leet to construct a roadway across common. Referred to Common Committee. Lord of the Manor was Mr S. S. Marling.

1903 Offered for sale at Auction. [Gloucestershire Chronicle – Saturday 13 June 1903]

  • 1904 Advertised as Private Hotel and Boarding House run by Mrs Tuck
  • 1911 Census Fort St George, Rodborough Castle. Ellen Eliza Goode – Widow – Independent Means, Richard Smith – Boarder – Solicitor, Edna Sandley – Visitor, William Clifford – Gardener, Mary Hall – Housemaid
  • 1917 Charles Apperley purchased the Rodborough Manor Estate from Mr S Marling and became Lord of the manor of Rodborough.
  • by 1928 Mr G B Philpin is Lord of the Manor of Rodborough
  • 1932 The fort was put up for sale ‘with Manorial Rights’ on the death of Mr George Bridges Philpin who owned a business making braces in Coventry (Owned Fort from at least 1919) Ancestry

1933 Bought by Thomas Bainbrigge Fletcher

  • Thomas Bainbrigge Fletcher (25 March 1878 – 30 April 1950) was an English entomologist. Although an amateur lepidopterist who worked in the Royal Navy, he became an expert on “microlepidoptera” and was appointed as the second Imperial Entomologist in India.
  • 1937  Thomas Bainbrigge Fletcher gifts Rodborough Common to The National Trust, which required a public subscription of £7,000 to fund ongoing upkeep.
  • 1949 Rodborough Fort put on sale after Thomas Bainbrigge Fletcher files for bankruptcy

1949 Sold to Mr G J Pitcher of Beaconsfield, Bucks  for £3,500

  • 1956 Used to house Hungarian refugees
  • 1960’s & 70’s Operated as a Caravan & Camping Site

1981-1986  Owned and operated as a campsite by the Dadswell Family

1986 Purchase by Joanne Willie-Williams

1994 Joanne Willie-Williams evicted for mortgage arrears. Put on market at £295,000. National Trust buy the Fort to enable it to be sold to a sympathetic owner and to reserve rights of way across common.

1995 Purchased by the Lamplough family.

2007 The fort put up for Sale by the Lamplough family and purchased by Ian and Mave Richens, ‘self made millionaires’.

2010  The Fort put on the market at a guide price of £2.95M and purchased by Ecotricity boss Vince Dale.