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Red House Farm Blunham

Red House Farm 15 Grange Lane October 2009
Red House Farm 15 Grange Lane October 2009

Red House Farm, an interesting set of red brick and slate 19th century buildings, is Number 15 Grange Road and stands not far from the junction with the High Street and Tempsford Road. 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 Red House Farm [DV1/C179/138] noted that it was owned by Thomas Clarke senior and occupied by Thomas Clarke junior. The Clarkes were market gardeners who also had Malting Farm. The farmhouse stood on 0.678 of an acre and comprised a drawing room, dining room, kitchen and scullery downstairs with four bedrooms and a bathroom ("No water laid on"!) on the first floor and two attics in the roof. Outside were a dairy, wood shed, coal house and washhouse. The valuer commented: "Garden (Good). Water laid on to Scullery. Good House".

The farm also had a separate range of farm buildings standing in 0.352 of an acre comprising a brick, timber and tile stable for one horse and a separate stable for five. A brick timber and thatch range comprised a barn and cow house and a brick, timber and tile range contained a cow house, a cart lodge with six bays and an onion loft over, and a store and cart lodge of five bays with an onion loft over. A second yard comprised a hen roost and cow shed. In a meadow stood a cattle shelter with a three bay manger. A third yard contained a brick, timber and tile cattle shelter of two bays, a barn and a three bay cattle shed. The valuer summed up: "Very good buildings". The farm also had a field of 3.827 acres. Interestingly in 1918 William Bier, who was then the farmer, put in a claim for compensation for this field because he had not been able to cultivate it as it was used by Bedfordshire County Council's War Agricultural Executive Committee for housing German prisoners-of-war [WW1/AC/OP2/16].