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1 to 11 Bunyans Mead Elstow

8 Bunyan's Mead February 2012
8 Bunyan's Mead February 2012

Numbers 1 to 11 Bunyan’s Mead used to be numbered 175 to 183 High Street. The properties were listed by the former Ministry of Public Buildings and Works in 1964 as Grade II* - particularly important buildings of special interest. The row of houses is very old - dating to the late 15th century with additions and alterations from the 16th century onwards. They were renovated in 1976 and 1977 [Z284].

The buildings are timber-framed with colour-washed plaster infill and some colour-washed plaster rendering. They have clay tile roofs and comprise a long, two storey row bordering the High Street. Five wings each of two storeys project to the rear. There is a gateway with a room above in between Numbers 3 and 8 and a narrow covered way between Numbers 10 and 11. The row is jettied, that is, the first storey overhangs the ground floor. Most of the windows and doors were replaced during the 1970s renovation. Numbers 4 to 6 have a sitting room which was originally an open hall and retain some 17th century wall painting. The warden’s flat for the sheltered housing complex has a 16th century fireplace using masonry from Elstow Abbey.

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/C33/12-20], the numbers refer to the accompanying plan, reproduced below.

Bunyan's Mead on the 1925 rating valuation map [DV2/G15c]
Bunyan's Mead on the 1925 rating valuation map [DV2/G15c]

  • 12: the tenant was C. Robinson who paid rent of £3/2/- per annum for two reception rooms, a scullery, two bedrooms, a barn and an earth closet;
  • 13: John Smith Jones paid £4/3/- per annum for two reception rooms, a scullery, two bedrooms, a barn and an earth closet. The valuer commented: “Double Fronted”;
  • 14: Amos Caves paid £4 per annum for two living rooms, two bedrooms, an earth closet and a barn (“at back”); the valuer commented: “bedrooms slope”;
  • 15: Samuel White paid £4 per annum for one living room, a scullery, two bedrooms, a pantry, an earth closet and a barn “at back”; the valuer commented: “bad position”;
  • 16 J. H. Thompson paid £4/4/6 per annum for two living rooms, two kitchens, four bedrooms, and an earth closet (“back”); the valuer commented: “bad position” and “really two cottages”;
  • 17: Harry Chillery paid £6/3/- per annum for a kitchen (“small”), one living room, two bedrooms, an earth closet and a barn. The valuer noted: “goes over arch” and “slightly better than others”;
  • 18: J. C. Jakes, a “new tenant” had a living room, two bedrooms, a parlour (“overhanging”) and a barn;
  • 19: E. Harding’s rent was 3/- per week for two living rooms, three bedrooms, a washhouse and a barn;
  • 20: C. Cooper paid £3/17/10 per half year for two living rooms, a kitchen, three bedrooms (“large back”) and a barn.

11 Bunyans Mead February 2012
11 Bunyan's Mead February 2012