Built in 1823 as a second home for a wealthy Liverpool shipping merchant and his French wife. The house was originally called Rothay Bank, and built without the balcony, although this was added soon afterwards.
This picture was taken in 1879. - dated by a Times newspaper cutting relating to an obscure battle in the Zulu war that was used to stuff the back of the picture - Battle of Isandlwana, 22 January 1879.
We also know that the property changed hands in 1879, so it's a fair guess that the picture is of the proud new owners showing off their home and domestic staff (gardener and housemaid).
The two front rooms in the centre had solid walls with a lean to glass panel in front, accessed from the existing porch. A bicycle can just be seen behind the left hand glass panel, together with some pot plants.
By 1903 the present bar lounge’s internal wall had been removed and the present windows added to give more room in the lounge. Sometime after 1903 the drawing room was given the same treatment.
The section of the house between the main house and the Conservatory (on the extreme right of the picture) was at the time of the picture a single wall on both floors to make house look larger than it was. Between 1879 and 1903 rooms were built on both floors to give extra space. The ground floor was the ‘Gun room’ for the storage of guns, whilst upstairs was a private bathroom off the first bedroom.
The present dining room was the billiard room of the house, and upstairs were three large bedrooms, each leading onto the balcony, with further rooms at the rear of the house. The Conservatory was originally just that, with a glass roof, some of which still exists, but is not visible.
Finally, the house was converted to a hotel in 1936, and the name changed to Rothay Manor.