The House in the Rock was partly excavated from the crag by a linen weaver, Thomas Hill, and his son between 1770 and 1791. Originally known as Fort Montague, it was a popular tourist attraction but became a purely private residence in 2000.
The house was lived in by descendants of Thomas Hill until 1996, the last being Nancy Buckle a former Town Crier. It was called Fort Montague in honour of Hill’s benefactor the Duchess of Buccleigh. Hill flew the national flag, fired his cannon and printed his own banknotes.