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52 London Road Girtford

52 London Road March 2010
52 London Road March 2010

As one walks up London Road Number 52 certainly attracts one’s attention, with its half-timbering and long sweeping roof. It was listed by the former Department of Environment in December 1979 as Grade II, of special interest. The department dated the property to the 17th century. It has roughcast over its timber framing and an old clay tile roof over a single storey with attics. Oddly, the timber framing on display is modern, for show and not structural!

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. Sandy, like most of the county, was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting 52 London Road [DV1/C29/54-55] found it owned and occupied by market gardener Seth Martin. Many of the properties along London Road had a smallholding of an acre or so attached in which the inhabitants worked as market gardeners. The railway to London meant that their produce could be in the capital's markets within twenty four hours of being picked.

The brick, lath, plaster and tiled house comprised two living rooms, a kitchen, scullery and pantry with two bedrooms and a bathroom above. A timber, corrugated iron and glass covered entrance lay at the side. Outside stood a w. c. and a timber and thatched washhouse and barn.

A number of farm buildings also occupied the premises. These comprised: a timber shed; a large brick, timber and slated barn with a loft over; a timber and tiled three bay cart shed and onion loft; a timber and tiled stable; a timber and thatched one stall and double stall stable with a hayloft over and a timber and tiled pig sty and fowl house. Martin also occupied 2.039 acres of market gardening land adjoining the premises.

52 London Road and outbuilding March 2010
52 London Road and outbuilding March 2010