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47 Church Street - Hawarden Cottage - Clifton

47 Church Street - Hawarden Cottage - August 2009
47 Church Street - Hawarden Cottage - August 2009

Hawarden Cottage is a striking red brick building. It was built in 1894, the year Liberal Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone retired from politics (he was then the oldest British prime minister in history at 84) to his estate in Hawarden, North Wales. This clearly suggests the person for whom the cottage was built was a Liberal supporter.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified [Section 19 (1)] that every piece of land and property in the country be valued to determine the rateable value. Clifton, like most of Bedfordshire, was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting Hawarden Cottage [DV1/C207/139], which then stood alone on this side of the road, noted that it was owned by Mrs. G. W. Secker and occupied by A. W. Cornwall who paid rent of £3/10/- per quarter.

The detached house was built in 1894 and comprised a parlour, living room, kitchen, pantry and bathroom with just two bedrooms upstairs. The valuer described it as "Whitbread double fronted two bedroom type" comparing it to Whitbread Estate houses in Southill - judge for yourself by the photograph of 38 High Street, Southill below. Outside stood a brick and slate barn and a wood and tile garage. Water was laid on.

38 High Street, Southill
38 High Street, Southill