The Round House Past and Present
It is thought to have been built in the late 15th Century.The oldest written evidence of the Round House relates to the insurance policy for Sun Firemark 616606 on the Three Horseshoes public house, Little Thetford, where it is described as a Dove House.

On 3rd July1793 the Sun Firemark and Policy 616606 were issued for 9/- and 3/- duty to William Merry, farmer, of Thetford in the Isle of Ely, County of Cambridgeshire, on his dwelling house, barn, stable and outhouses, all adjoining situated as aforesaid in the tenure of widow Murfit. Thatched, value not exceeding one hundred and fifty pounds. Dove house in the yard separate, thatched, value not exceeding fifty pounds. Policy signed by H. Water, W. Hamilton and W. Godfrey.

For the best part of the 1800’s the Round House lived in by James and Elizabeth Bullman. There is an interesting account with photographs of them both on ‘James Bullman and his Descendants’ on Editor note 17-3-2012: This document seems to have been removed.
James Bullman
b. August 8, 1802
m. April 30, 1822
d. May 9, 1873
Elizabeth Bullman (nee Merrill)
b. July 4, 1803
d. March 4, 1884
There are records of James Bullman’s birth and death in the St.George’s Church parish records. There is no record of his marriage to Elizabeth as she was with child and could not be married inside the church. They were married under a tree in the churchyard. There is a gravestone in the churchyard to James Bullman, erected by his son then living in America, dated 1873. After his death Elizabeth went to spend her final days in Evansville, Indiana.The Bullman’s lived in the Round House from about 1820 to 1850 and perhaps till the early 1970’s. They had thirteen children born in the house. At least five of children left England to live in Indiana, where they were emigrant pioneers. Some of them travelling to Indiana in covered wagons. One son went to Australia where he became involved in an early gold rush.

In the late 1800’s the house became divided into two dwellings.

One of Little Thetford’s First World War dead, Private Eric Dewsbury lived in the Round House. Eric was the brother of Miss Lily Mary Dewsbury. His photograph is stored in Stretham Church records. He appealed against conscription in March 1916. He was described as a laborer and milkman, and he said he had to keep his father and sister and pay the rent. His appeal was refused.

It was lived in, divided up into two three-storey cottages, up until 1959 and then stood empty for some years. The roof was in danger of collapsing and the ‘stairs’ were virtual ladders. The thick walls are solid brick throughout.
In 1970 the Round House was renovated by Mr. and Mrs. Albert Cox, who ran the Little Thetford Post Office and Shop for many years. It was next door to the Round House. The Post Office has closed and was demolished in the 1990’s.
The Round House was lived in until the 2000’s when Mrs Cox died.The present owner (2010), David Moss, has been working on the Round House for the past few years and has now completed a new thatching. He has reinstated the spike at the top, which was seen on older photographs. He has engraved his fathers name, Kenneth Moss, on the spike. His father died a few years ago.

The Round House August 2004 by Mark Ynys-Mon

The Round House 2009 by Jean Read
We have added a separate page showing a time-lapsed video of the construction of the timber frame of the new building behind the round house.
  • You can buy a porcelain sculpture of the Round House from Lilliput Lane, Skirsgill, Penrith, Cumbria, England CA11 0DP
  • It is about 3 inches high.