Rock & Sons

From Historical Hastings

Rock & Sons were a coach manufacturer on White Rock, who designed and constructed a number of prestigious carriages including a State Carriage for the Lord Mayor of London [1]. Their premises featured a lift which conveyed carriages up to the entrance on White Rock Gardens in order they could bypass the difficult route around the headland that was just east of the site. This lift is Grade II Listed (Historic England listing 1268253) and described in the listing thus[2]:

Lift Shaft and Winding Mechanism to rear of numbers 40/41 White Rock

GV II Lift shaft and winding mechanism, later garage. Erected between 1875 and 1899 as a carriage hoist to the showroom and workshops of Rock and Sons Carriage manufacturers. This is a rectangular structure extending 3 storeys up from the former workshops at the rear of 40/41 White Rock. Lower part red brick in English bond, the upper part cement rendered with top storey weatherboarded over timberframe, the weatherboarding missing in places. Hipped slate roof. Wooden double doors at ground floor level. Interior contains cast iron winding gear in the upper storey comprising two 8 spoke 4 ft diameter cast iron gear wheels, cranking shaft and 2ft diameter brake wheel.

Perhaps their best known carriage was the Dioropha which was patented and exhibited widely - the carriage receiving medals at an international exhibition in London during 1851 and again in Paris during 1856[3]. It was possible to rent carriages from them and take them as far as London, the carriages presumably being returned via the railway[4].


References & Notes

  1. Brett Manuscript Histories Vol. 7 Chap. 60 Pg. 79
  2. Historic England Entry 1268253
  3. Brett Manuscript Histories Vol. 10. Chapter 68 Pg. 40
  4. Hastings Pier Archive: Carriage at Hastings Station