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Battle Cottage 4 High Street Blunham

The Ovens and Battle Cottage - 2 and 4 High Street - August 2009
The Ovens and Battle Cottage - 2 and 4 High Street - August 2009

Battle Cottage and The Ovens, along with the Ragged Staff and Shoe Cottage on the other side of the road form a lovely group on this part of the High Street. One can only lament the destruction of other, similar cottages, such as that immediately west of the Ragged Staff. The surname Battle occurs in Blunham and the name of the cottage presumably reflects an earlier owner.

The Rating and Valuation Act of 1925 specified that every piece of land and building in the country should be assessed to determine the rates to be paid on it. Blunham was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting Battle Cottage [DV1/C155/29] discovered that it was owned by J. Norman and occupied by F. Low at a rent of £10 per annum. It comprised a parlour, living room and scullery downstairs with three bedrooms above and a barn and earth closet outside. The valuer noted: "Fetch Water from Tap" and "No Garden". He also noted that the date 1699 was inscribed outside.

Battle Cottage, along with The Ovens next door, was listed by the former Department of Environment in October 1973 as Grade II, of special interest; they dated it to the late 17th century (unsurprisingly as the cottage bears a plaque saying 1699) and noted 19th century alterations. The house is timber framed and covered with colour washed roughcast render, having a thatched roof. Many cottages of the period have a simple plan with two rooms downstairs, Battle Cottage is bigger, with a three room plan. It comprises one storey with bedrooms in the attics.