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Bell Farm Colesden

Bell Farm in 1961 [Z53-97-12]
Bell Farm in 1961 [Z53/97/12]

Bell Farmhouse was listed by the former Ministry of Public Buildings and Works in July 1964 as Grade II, of special interest. The ministry dated the farmhouse to the late 16th or early 17th century. The building is colourwashed roughcast over a timber frame and has an old clay tile roof. It is built in an L-plan - the east wing having two storeys and attics the west wing a single storey with attics. The west wing's red brick chimney stack has alterations indicating an extension westwards from this point in the 18th century. Single storey tiled additions extend west and east.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine the rateable value. Colesden was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting Bell Farm [DV1/H13/30] noted that it was owned by Bedfordshire County Council and occupied by Lewis Edward Folbigg who paid rent of £40 per annum for 11 acres of land.

The farmhouse comprised a front room, livin groom, kitchen and parlour downstairs with three bedrooms above - though a later hand has amended this to "1 in front 2 at back". A wood barn stood outside. The weather-boarded homestead comprised a coal house, hen house, loose box used for storage, a two stall stable, a two bay hovel used as loose boxes and a barn.

The smallholdings archive of Bedfordshire County Council has deeds detailing the purchse of land in the area, including Bell Farm from the Delap family, Lords of a number of Manors including Colesden [SH42]. James Bogle Delap conveyed the land to the county council in February 1914 [SH42/1]. At that time Park Farm, Roxton and Bell Farm, Colesden, were occupied by James Day.

Bell Farmhouse glimpsed from the road March 2010
Bell Farmhouse glimpsed from the road March 2010