Bank Top Cottage was originally three separate spaces, which were shared between the row of fisherman’s cottages that now comprise the South Side area of Cresswell village (previously known as Fisher Row), and were used for very different purposes all throughout their history.
In 2010, (the year of renovation), as you walked inside the structure from any of the 3 entrances, every wall was covered in old adverts from decade-old fishing magazines, aged newspaper articles that were no longer legible, stickers from car magazines and all sorts of personal items that would have been there for years and years. Each of the rooms were filled to the brim; a lot of sea coal and sand, a rusty old bike, a broken external door, an oil tank for oil heating, bricks and (lots of) dirt. The roof was very unstable, with lots of holes that allowed daylight and rain to pour through. The joists that held up the attic spaces were thoroughly rotten from years of harsh weathering, due to the salty sea air. In what is now the lounge area, there was a 2m deep pit that was used for mending vehicles.
Within the last 100 years, ponies were kept in one of the spaces, used for retrieving sea coal and molluscs from the beach. Over the time we’ve had Bank Top Cottage, we’ve had various people come and talk to us of their memories of the building before the renovation, that they used to play on the roof as children and sit and watch the tides. We love hearing about the history of Cresswell and welcome anyone who can add to our knowledge of the buildings or its past residents.