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Eggington Lodge

Eggington Lodge shown in red on a map of 1926
Eggington Lodge shown in red on a map of 1926

Eggington Lodge lies in the grounds of Eggington House. In 2008 Eggington Lodge was for sale and the particulars [Z449/2/68] noted: “Although dating originally from the 17th Century, the house was largely rebuilt in 1905 using architectural salvage to provide a wonderful mix of period features. A new wing was added approximately 80 years ago to provide garaging and a snooker room. This wing provides potential for conversion to a self contained flat/annexe. The wing, it should be noted, adjoins the flat and garage block of the nearby Eggington House. The house itself is not listed although it is within the conservation area and the property is a registered smallholding. The History of Eggington by Guinevere E. Calder includes a brief description and history of the Lodge - the full extract of which we have available at the office. The Lodge was originally intended for the hunting/shooting guests of the Adams family who lived at Hockliffe House and who were major landowners in the area. Formerly known as the Shooting Box, John James Reynal Adams had the house largely rebuilt following a devastating fire and incorporated an eclectic range of architectural salvage from auction sales including doors, windows, fireplaces and staircases. The 1679 sundial was brought from Gaddesden by the Sunmans who had the Snooker and Garage Wing added". In 1922 a new lease was drawn up for Mrs. Ethel Angel Bertram, widow, to live at Eggington Lodge [HN10/278/5].

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 Lodge [DV1/C174/108] stood in 1.776 acres; it was, like Eggington House, owned by the trustees of John James Reynal Adams, deceased and was still occupied by Mrs. E. A. Bertram, whose rent was £125, which included a 1.9 acre grass field nearby. It was a contrast to the more primitive conditions at Eggington House as the valuer commented: “Mrs. Bertram not in – saw Maid. Have to pump all water – get drinking water from Eggington House. Electric Light in every room – two bulbs in principal rooms. Central Heating all over house. Cesspool drainage shared with Eggington House. Lighting and heating are both put in by tenant. Main part of house built in 1905. Saw Miss Bertram later – does not know rent – but will phone to the office when Mrs. Bertram returns. They are trying to dispose of the lease”.

Downstairs accommodation comprised: a porch; a drawing room measuring 21 feet 6 inches by 14 feet; a smoke room measuring 13 feet by 12 feet 6 inches; a dining room measuring 19 feet by 16 feet 6 inches and a small cloakroom, W. C. and lavatory (in the sense of a place to wash). The back premises (“through baize door opposite Dining room”) contained a kitchen measuring 15 feet by 11 feet 6 inches, a small larder facing north, a large scullery “apparently used to be old farm kitchen” which had a stove for the central heating and a housemaid’s pantry measuring 8 feet 6 inches by 10 feet. The valuer commented: “Have to cook by oil stove – range no good, do not use copper in scullery or fireplace”.

The first floor comprised: a narrow front stairs; a spare bedroom measuring 10 feet by 11 feet 6 inches; a bedroom measuring 14 feet by 11 feet 6 inches; a spare bedroom measuring 14 feet by 9 feet; a bedroom measuring 13 feet square; a nursery measuring 17 feet by 19 feet (“not used”); a maid’s bedroom measuring 12 feet 6 inches by 13 feet; a bathroom with a lavatory basin; a W. C.; two linen cupboards; a housemaid’s cupboard – “here are back stairs” and a spare bedroom measuring 8 feet 6 inches by 10 feet 6 inches. The valuer commented: “Bathroom is small and inconvenient. Bedrooms are small”. A tank room lay in the roof. A cellar lay at the bottom of the stairs (“not used and under water. Well is at bottom of stairs in cellar”).

Outside stood a brick and tiled stable for two and a garage for one car, a brick and tiled tool shed, a weather-boarded and corrugated iron kennel and a weather-boarded and slated engine house with a Lister three horsepower petrol engine driving dynamo and pump. There was also a mixing room (“for dogs”), an accumnulator room and two loose boxes used for dogs. The stable was used by goats (“milk used for dogs”). There was a “Nice Lawn in front of House, Wilderness with pond”.

The valuer commented: “Rent £125 and Tenant electric light and tenant central heating. Hobourn [Woburn solicitor acting for the trustees] admits a very high rent, will never get it again. Must not take dilapidated condition of garden into account”. Another hand wrote: “Gardens are a desolate waste except lawns. Kitchen garden has concrete subsoil. Electric light and central heating are tenant’s fixtures. Roof is low and diminishes cubic capacity of principal bedrooms”.

Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years from the early to mid 19th century until 1940. Kelly’s Directory gives the following occupants of Eggington Lodge:

  • 1910 and 1920 Charles Anthony Vandervell;
  • 1924 and 1928 Mrs.Bertram (who, we know from information above had arrived in 1922);
  • 1931 and 1936 Thomas B. Keep;
  • 1940 Vincent Montague Sunman

The 2008 sale particulars describe the cellars as measuring 14 feet 7 inches by 11 feet and 12 feet 4 inches by 5 feet 7 inches. The ground floor comprised: an entrance porch measuring 6 feet 10 inches by 5 feet 3 inches; a reception hall 15 feet 9 inches by 12 feet 3 inches; a cloakroom measuring 11 feet 3 inches by 5 feet; a drawing room 21 feet 4 inches by 14 feet; a sitting room measuring 14 feet 1 inches by 13 feet; a dining room 19 feet 8 inches by 16 feet 9 inches; a playroom/gym measuring 15 feet by 14 feet 3 inches; a larder 11 feet by 5 feet 3 inches; a kitchen/breakfast room measuring 15 feet 6 inches by 14 feet 8 inches; a inner hall and a utility room measuring 10 feet 3 inches by 8 feet 9 inches. Upstairs were an inner lobby, a cloakroom, a bathroom, a snooker room measuring 23 feet 9 inches by 18 feet 1 inch and five bedrooms (two en-suite). Outside was a long drive, with gardens to the front and side, a patio, a pond and rockery, two garages, a heated swimming pool measuring 40 feet by 20 feet, a tennis court, a stable yard, five stables and paddocks - in all 6.71 acres.