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North Street

Rock House, former Pest House

In the North Street property named Rock House was located one of the two Pest Houses opened during the outbreak of bubonic plague in 1651/2. (The other was located in City Road, at the time named Cokey Street.)

Pest Houses were not hospitals; they were where those afflicted with the disease could go to die.

The problem for the serving staff of bigger houses was that once identified as having the plague they were ejected from the house and would have died in the gutters had not the Pest Houses existed.

Although the Borough Records of the time record the spread of the disease and the employment of ‘Tarcoats’- people willing to undertake the dangerous but necessary job of burying the dead – they do not record an accurate number of those that died; the best that we can estimate is 200 – 400.

Follow North Street passed the Dickensian terraced houses and turn right into...


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