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Greenwood Cottage - 14 The Green Bromham

Greenwood Cottage - 14 The Green March 2012
Greenwood Cottage - 14 The Green March 2012

Greenwood Cottage stands back a little way from The Green. It was listed by English Heritage in August 1987 as Grade II, of special interest. The property has its origins in the 17th century although it has been much altered. It is a timber-framed construction overlaid with colourwashed plaster and it has a thatched roof. A brick extension, also colourwashed, has been added to the west end. The cottage originally had just two rooms downstairs with a central chimney giving back-to-back fireplaces, one for each room; beds were in the attics.

The cottage formed part of the Bromham Hall Estate and was due to be put up for sale by auction along with a large slice fo the rest of the estate in 1924. The sale particulars [AD1147/4], however, are stamped: "Temporarily withdrawn from sale" presumably because the estate was in private negotiations with Benjamin Howkins of Molivers Farm.  On 19th February 1927 Molivers Farm was itself put up for sale by auction and included Greenwood Cottage. the sale particulars, identical to 1924, were as follows [AD1147/3]:

LOT 12
A ROW OF THREE CAPITAL COTTAGES
situate in the Parish and Village of Bromham.

Each has a Good Garden attached, and Shed and E. C. outside, and on the East of this Lot is a small Orchard

Area .610 of an acre

No. 1 contains One Bedroom upstairs, and Bedroom, Living Room and Scullery downstairs, and is let to Mrs. Charles Church, on a Quarterly Tenancy, at a Rental of £3 4s 0d. per annum
No. 2 contains Two Bedrooms up and Two and Pantry down, and is let to Mr. A. Church, on a Quarterly Tenancy, at a Rental of £2 19s. 0d. per annum
No. 3 contains One Room up and Two and Pantry down, and is let to Mr. E. P. F. Harding, on a Quarterly Tenancy, at a Rental of £3 14s. 0d. per annum, making a total for this Lot of

£9 17s. per annum.

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 visited Greenwood Cottage soon after the sale and found that it had been bought by Sydney Rideout [DV1/C3/74-76], son of the Baptist minister. Sydney's son, Professor Roger Rideout has written a history of the village: Bromham in Bedfordshire: A History, published in 2001.

The details of the property had not changed and the same three people were still tenants. The valuer noted that water had to be fetched from a pump on The Green and that the cottage was “very old”. He reckoned that A. Church’s part of the cottage was a “poor old place, no garden” and that E. P. F. Harding’s accommodation was a “poor place” with a “very bad slope” in the attic. By 1935 both these tenants had moved elsewhere.

In 1939 the owner Miss Winifred J. Thorn submitted an application for alterations [RDBP3/102] and for the erection of a garage [RDBP3/160]. By this date the house was in a single occupation. The ground floor comprised (west to east) two reception rooms, a dining hall and a lounge. A projecting northern extension from the second reception room comprised two rooms. The dining hall looks as if it went all the way up into the attics, presumably the ceiling had been taken out to give, in effect a room which extended upwards to the roof. Either side upstairs wee two bedrooms to the west and one to the east. The alterations were t turn the downstairs northern extension into a maid’s bedroom and a bathroom and W. C. A new extension was to be added to the east of this containing a kitchen with another W. C. (not then forbidden by building regulations), a sink and a larder and another bathroom and W. C. with a skylight over it.