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5 The Square Aspley Guise

5 The Square about 1900 [Z1130/3a/12]
5 The Square about 1900 [Z1130/3a/12]

Bedfordshire's Historic Environment Record [HER] details every historic building and landscape feature in the county and is now available on-line as part of the Heritage Gateway website. It describes 4 and 5 The Square [HER 14348]  as a post medieval building that has been divided into two commercial properties. The building is a brick construction with casement windows and a tile roof which includes bands of fishscale tile.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed as to its rateable value. Aspley Guise was assessed in 1927. The valuer visiting 5 The Square found it owned by Charles Denton and occupied by Thomas William Crute, grocer, who paid rent of £10 per quarter (it had been £8/15/- per quarter in 1914) [DV1/C138/36].

The brick and tile property comprised a shop measuring 15 feet square, with a 1 foot by 15 feet bay, stores measuring 12 feet by 19 feet and 10 feet by 10 feet 6 inches and an office measuring 11 feet by 8 feet 6 inches downstairs with five storerooms measuring 10 feet by 9 feet, 13 feet 6 inches by 12 feet, 12 feet square, 8 feet 6 inches by 12 feet and 10 feet by 10 feet 6 inches upstairs. A cellar lay "under next shop" - presumably 4 The Square.

Outside lay a timber and corrugated iron coachhouse, stable and store. The property was lit by gas. The valuer commented: "High rent, old property and used only as storage".

By the 1970s the property had become the third in a succession of four properties used as a post office in the centre of the village. The postcard at the head of the page shows the advertisement for Sunlight Soap slight traces of which can still be seen, faintly, on the building today [2010].

5 The Square January 2008
5 The Square January 2008