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12 to 17 Bunyans Mead Elstow

15 Bunyan's Mead and neighbours February 2012
15 Bunyan's Mead and neighbours February 2012

Numbers 12 to 17 Bunyan’s Mead used to be numbered 184 to 188 High Street. The properties were listed by the former Ministry of Public Buildings and Works in 1964 as Grade II - buildings of special interest. The row of houses is very old - dating to the 16th century “or earlier” with additions and alterations in the 17th and 18th centuries. They were renovated in 1976 and 1977 [Z284].

The buildings are timber-framed and most have colour-washed plaster infill, though Number 16 is weather-boarded. Three of the cottages have two storeys and border the road, Numbers 12 and 14 are single-storeyed with attics and project to the rear at the north end of the row. Number 15 is considered to be the oldest and is jettied, that is, the first storey overhangs the ground floor. All the doors are 20th century

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. Elstow, like much of the county, was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting the row found that all the properties were owned by the Lord of the Manor, Samuel Howard Whitbread. Individual details were as follows [DV1/C33/21-25], the numbers refer to the accompanying plan, reproduced below.

Bunyan's Mead on the 1925 rating valuation map [DV2/G/15c]
Bunyan's Mead on the 1925 rating valuation map [DV2/G/15c]

  • 21: G. Farr’s rent was 4/6 per week for a living room, a kitchen, two bedrooms, a timber and tiled workshop and a barn (“good”);
  • 22: J. W. G. Roberts (no rent given) had a living room, a kitchen and scullery, two bedrooms and a “good Barn”; the valuer noted: “sloping roof”;
  • 23. J. Fox’s rent was £2/1/2 per half year for a parlour, two living rooms, one bedroom and a “good Barn”; again, the valuer noted: “sloping roof”;
  • 24. A. J. Chillery paid one shilling per week for two living rooms, two bedrooms and a barn measuring 19 feet by 15 feet 6 inches;
  • 25. A. White’s rent was £2/1/5 per half year for two living rooms, two bedrooms, a scullery and a barn; again, the valuer noted: “sloping roof” and commented: “higher and better than next” i.e. 19 and 20 Bunyans Mead.