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19 Main Road Biddenham

19 Main Road, Biddenham March 2012
19 Main Road, Biddenham March 2012

19 Main Road was listed by English Heritage in August 1987 as Grade II, of special interest. The cottage dates to the 17th century, though it has modern extensions. It is built of colourwashed plaster over limestone and has a thatched roof. The original part of the property is of one storey and attics and had three rooms downstairs, with a central double-sided chimney. A modern cross-wing of two storeys stands at the east end.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. The valuer visiting 19 Main Road [DV1/C123/46] found that it was owned and occupied by E. C. Gardener and stood in 1.144 acres.

The property comprised a hall, a W. C., a school room, a dining room, a drawing room, a smoke room and a kitchen downstairs with six bedrooms, a bathroom and a W. C. above. Outside stood a wood and corrugated iron potting shed, a cycle shed and a wood and slate garage for two cars. Kelly’s and other directories do not mention a private school in Biddenham to account for the schoolroom, but perhaps it was very small and did not advertise. Alternatively it could have been a kind of school room and nursery combined for the owner’s own children.

The valuer summaried: “Is an old Property done up. Near Road, attractive and lettable. Nice old Hedge” and “very, very lettable”. Another hand has written: “House was two cottages now one. Quite nice inside, seems very small and low, very inconvenient”, though “Grounds Good, flower and vegetable garden. Tennis Court”. Mains water and electric light were both laid on.