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Kerry House - 15 The Green Bromham

Kerry House - 15 The Green March 2012
Kerry House - 15 The Green March 2012

Kerry House faces one across The Green as one approaches from the south. The property was listed by English Heritage in August 1987 as Grade II, of special interest. It dates from the mid-19th century and is constructed from coursed limestone rubble with an old clay tile roof. It is built in an L-shape and comprises two storeys.

The house 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 The sale particulars [AD1147/4], however, are stamped: "Temporarily withdrawn from sale" presumably because the estate was in private negotiations with Benjamin Howkins of Molivers Farm.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 Kerry House. The sale particulars, identical to 1924, were as follows [AD1147/3]:

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 property was owned by the trustees of Benjamin Howkins, who had been the farmer at Molivers Farm. It was occupied by the village baker Charles Bruty [DV1/C3/77]. He had paid rent of £26/10/- per annum since 1918 and this included a tiny grass field with a two bay open hovel, a stand for two cows and a hen house (“poorish”) and a larger grass field of 0.877 of an acre.

The property comprised two reception rooms, a kitchen, a scullery, a larder and a pantry downstairs with three bedrooms, a boxroom and bathroom (“carry up water”) upstairs. An earth closet stood outside. At the rear stood a bakehouse measuring 16 feet 6 inches by 12 feet (“good”), with a flour store over. There was also a wood and tiled coal store, a washhouse, a two stall stable, garage, a chicken house and a pigsty. The valuer noted: “Water from pump runs to tap inside”. He commented: “Very nice little property. Can’t understand rent” on the latter point another hand has written: “Too much”.

Moliver Farm and its attendant properties were put up for sale by auction on 20th October 1928. The sale particulars list Kerry House as follows [Z1323/1/8]:

LOT 4
Area: - 21 acres 1 rood 10 poles
A SUBSTANTIAL
Stone Built and Tiled residence
Occupying a delightful position nearly opposite the Village Green at Bromham, and contains: -

ON THE GROUND FLOOR: - Entrance Hall, Dining and Drawing Rooms, Sitting Room, Kitchen and Scullery, Pantry.
ON THE FIRST FLOOR: - Three Bedrooms and Bath Room.

Adjoining is a BAKEHOUSE with ovens and tiled floor

There is also a good range of Buildings, comprising: - Coal Shed, Wash House, Stable for 2, Trap House, Poultry House, Piggery.

The Paddock and Pasture Field are of excellent feeding quality.

The House, Buildings and Paddock forming part of this lot are in the occupation of Mr. C. Bruty, whose notice to quit expired on the 29th September last.

The lot was withdrawn at £1,400. It had not reached its reserve price. Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has another sale particular for the property dating from 1957 when Major Wells [Z938/6/9/4]. The particulars comment: “This house stands on The Green effectively screened from the road by flowering cherries, prunus and laburnums”. Accommodation was described as follows:

  • A small hallway with a secondary staircase to the principal bedroom;
  • A lounge measuring 17 feet by 13 feet;
  • A dining room measuring 15 feet by 14 feet;
  • A kitchen measuring 7 feet 6 inches by 13 feet 6 inches;
  • A breakfast room measuring 14 feet by 12 feet;
  • A downstairs cloakroom with an adjoining beer cellar;
  • A workshop measuring 12 feet by 15 feet. This was the old bakehouse and still had the old ovens;
  • Four bedrooms measuring 15 feet by 10 feet, 11 feet 6 inches by 13 feet 9 inches, 14 feet by 13 feet and 10 feet 6 inches by 11 feet 6 inches;
  • A bathroom;
  • A store room measuring 12 feet by 16 feet.

Outside were: a coal and wood store; two garages; a greenhouse and a paddock. In 1992 the owner submitted a planning application [BorBTP/92/0590] for alterations.

Directories for Bedfordshire were published every few years from 1847 until 1940. In 1847 the miller William Biggs was also listed as the village baker, as he was in directories of 1850, 1853 and 1854. In 1862 and 1863 Samuel Hallifax was listed as the baker, with Alfred Hallifax in 1869 ad 1871. John Odell was listed in 1885, 1890, 1894, 1898, 1903, 1906 and 1910 and George Odell in 1914. As noted above Charles Bruty became the baker in 1918 and is listed in the directories of 1920, 1924, 1928 and 1931.