Apologies for the late notice in posting this one! Exmoor National Park will be opening White Rock Cottage and the old Simonsbath School buildings as part of Heritage Open Day on Friday 8 September from 10am to 4pm. Conservation manager Rob Wilson-North says: “Everyone is welcome to come along to learn more about the Simonsbath Programme Steering Group’s plans for the buildings, see how these remarkable buildings tell the story of a unique landscape at the heart of Exmoor National Park and find out more about the people in the past who shaped the Exmoor we see today.
“There will be tours of the building site and part of the unfinished Picturesque gardens as well as a small exhibition.”
White Rock Cottage was built in 1820 and stands at the heart of the tiny village of Simonsbath on the top of Exmoor at the centre of what was, until 1819, 20,000 acres of barren moorland. It was built in the Scottish style and became home to workers engaged in making a great Georgian estate out of nothing but the wild moor, and who were also busy working on one of the last and largest land reclamations in England. White Rock Cottage and a small subterranean building also formed part of an unfinished Picturesque valley garden which is now overgrown.
In 1857 Simonsbath school was set up to teach the children of Exmoor farmers, and the old schoolroom forms part of the group of buildings. Sadly, the village school closed in 1970. The buildings are now in a very sorry state after years of neglect. They are scaffolded, sheeted and only partially roofed. Plans are being developed to breathe new life into them. For further information please contact Rob Wilson-North on 01398 322280, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit