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37 to 41a Main Road Biddenham

37-41 Main Road in 1962 [Z53/15/11]
37-41a Main Road in 1962 [Z53/15/11]

37 to 41a Main Road were listed by English Heritage in August 1987 as Grade II, of special interest. The building, originally one house, dates from the 17th or 18th century, though altered and extended since. Number 37 comprises one storey and attics with modern flat-roofed rear extensions. Whilst 37 and 41 are also one storey and attics they are a little taller, with 41a being the same height as Number 37.

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 the property [DV1/C123/52-55] found it divided into four separate dwellings. As with most of the older properties in the village the building was owned by the Wingfield family, Lords of the Manor of Biddenham. The individual dwellings were as follows:

  • 37: occupied by C. Green who had one room up one down. The valuer commented: “dreadful” and “very low” and “Newly thatched”;
  • 39: occupied by G. Garner at a rent of £3/7/- per annum. He had a kitchen and a living room, a washhouse, presumably a lean-to affair was the tenant’s own. There was just one bedroom, upstairs. A barn lay outside and “water fetched from pump”. This dwelling was also “very bad”;
  • 41: occupied by H. Dudley and comprising a kitchen, a living room, another lean-to washhouse and two bedrooms. Water came from a well;
  • 41a: occupied by W. Church and comprising a living room, and “one up”, with a barn and an earth closet outside. Again, water had to be fetched from a pump. It was a “dreadful place”

Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has plans accompanying planning applications for extensions and alterations: These are for Number 39 in 1962 [RDBP6/62/107A] and in 1989 [BorB/TP/89/0584/LB] and for Number 41 in 1988 [BorBTP/88/518/LB].

37 to 41a Main Road March 2012
37 to 41a Main Road March 2012