In 1917, the Ynys Maengwyn estate sold off land in Aberdyfi to an architect, who then sold it to Alfred Edward French from Shirley, near Birmingham, who had Rockcliffe built as an 'Arts and Crafts' villa in the early 1920s with quirky features such as the gables and the round window in the sitting room. It sits on one of the largest plots of land in Aberdovey / Aberdyfi with a stunning view of the estuary and sea beyond.
The house changed hands once, and then was bought in the 1970s by a Jesuit Teaching Order for use as a convent and holiday home for their girl's school in the midlands, it was known as St Joseph's Convent. For many years it was used as a relaxing retreat for the students, visiting Nuns and missionaries, the villagers and many others looking for peace and tranquillity. The Nuns that lived here had an open door policy and even held services in the consecrated chapel in the house, which is now the downstairs 'blue' bedroom.
The house stood empty for a year after the two Nuns that had been living here retired to the mother house, and was undertaken as a family home by the current owners, who lived here as it was for a few years and then, in a grand, two year renovation project, completely remodelled the interior to the high modern standard that it is today, whilst leaving the exterior almost untouched to preserve the unique and fascinating architecture.