About The Dene

The Dene is a mill owner’s house built in the early 19th century. The earliest record we can find is the local rate record of 1828 which refers to ‘ the new house at Dean’. The house was reputedly built for the daughter of the house next door when she married.

The garden wall with its two chimney pots was a peach wall. There was a furnace at the far end and the hot air passed through a zig zag route through the hollow wall to keep the frost off the fruit trees planted against the wall. A brick in the wall bears the date 1752.

The neighbouring house, now called The Old Dene, is much older. The front of that house is probably 18th century whilst the courtyard side is older still. The drive to The Old Dene originally came through our iron gates and swept round to the right.

Both houses were owned by the family who owned Kebroyd Mill across the Lumb brook in the bottom of the valley.  There was a small viaduct giving them easy access on foot to the mill.  The mill operated until 2001 but has now been demolished.

The large tree in front of the house is a fern or cut leaf beech.  We think it is around  150 years old. The national record of these trees is held in Winchester. There is one such tree at Chatsworth which is smaller than ours but Kew Gardens does not have one at all.