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Goldington Bury

Goldington Bury about 1900 [Z50-51-3]
Goldington Bury about 1900 [Z50/51/3]

Goldington Bury was the manor house for the Manor of Goldington Bury which was in the hands of the Becher family of Howbury Hall, Renhold from a time before 1728 to 1781. The house dated from the 18th century and probably stood on or near the site of the medieval manor house.

It was, presumably, during the ownership of the Bechers that Goldington Bury was sold and detached from the manor of which it had formed a part. A map of 1765 gives the owner of Goldington Bury as a Mr Addington. In 1782 Silvester Addington married Ann, daughter of Bartholomew West of Goldington, grazier and gentleman and their son William Silvester Addington was baptised in January 1783. Silvester Addington owned the Bury in 1797 as shown by the Land Tax return for Goldington [LX].

Silvester Addington died in 1811 and in 1818 the Bury Estate was put up for auction. The sale particulars [ST807] described the Bury as “modern, substantially built, and well adapted for the Residence of a respectable Family, standing in a delightful Situation, a short distance from the Tunrpike Road, leading from Bedford to Saint Neot’s, and within Half-an-hour’s Walk of the Town of Bedford. Near, and adjoining the mansion, are suitable attached and detached offices and a complete farm homestead. The ground surrounding the Mansion-house, are judiciously planted, and much valuable Timber is growing thereon. The soil is of the best Description, and the principal Part of the Arable Land is well adapted for Turnip Husbandry”.

The Bury Estate was purchased in 1819 from William Silvester Addington by Robert Elliott of Tooting [Surrey] [SL1/209], who moved there, calling the property Goldington House. He died in 1844 leaving the house to his widow for her life, then to his son Robert, who lived at Tempsford Hall. Robert junior’s wife Anne left sworn statements about ghostly activity at Tempsford Hall and in 1850 is described as living at Goldington House [WY1019]. Robert junior died in 1853 and his widow the following year, leaving their two daughters in the guardianship of their father’s sister Elizabeth, wife of William Kenworthy Browne of Goldington Hall.

The house was let to various tenants over the next few years. Directories for 1853 and 1854 give Robert Hobson as tenant. In 1869 the lease was granted to Charles William Talbot Ponsonby [ST832]. In 1875 the Goldington Bury Estate, comprising over six hundred acres of land as well as the mansion, was again for sale by auction [ST832] and the sale particulars described the Bury itself thus: “The principal approach to the mansion is from Goldington Green by a suitable entrance lodge and carriage road through its ornamentally timbered park and pleasure grounds, this drive terminates with another entrance gate in the village. It stands upon a dry subsoil, with a south-west aspect. It is built of red brick and slated, and forms an exceedingly comfortable residence, which, with its complete and attractive surroundings, is of a comparatively inexpensive character to maintain”.

“The internal arrangements are as follows - on the upper story [sic] six servants’ apartments approached by a separate staircase, two store rooms and a loft; water closet and housemaids’ sink with tap”.

“Second Story, two front bed chambers measuring about 22 feet 6, by 15 feet 6, by 15 feet respectively, and a dressing room between; a bed chamber communicating with a dressing room; a bed chamber about 20 feet by 17 feet, with marble chimney-piece, communicating with a dressing room, and a smaller bed chamber, all approached by a principal staircase; also a lobby with water closet on half-descent; a door shuts off a few steps leading down to two spacious nurseries and a maid’s bed chamber fitted with marble chimney-pieces and a dress closet”.

“First Story, a principal bed chamber about 22 feet 6 by 15 feet, with marble chimney-piece communicating with a dressing room; another principal bed chamber about 19 feet by 15 feet with panelled walls”.

“Ground Floor, an outer portico entrance supported by classic columns, lofty and spacious inner hall, from which ascends the principal staircase; a few steps lead up to an elegant drawing room, about 30 feet by 18 feet 6, and 12 feet high, with statuary marble chimney-piece and three French windows, one having stone steps down to the pleasure grounds; this room communicates with a library about 30 feet by by an average width of 15 feet, with statuary marble chimney-piece and lighted by three windows; a front dining room, about 23 feet by 14 feet 6, also lighted by three windows with serving hall adjoining; front breakfast room or study, about 18 feet 6 by 14 feet 6, now used as a billiard room and lighted by three windows, also, a water closet. A few steps from the serving hall lead down to the domestic apartments, which comprise housekeeper’s room fitted with cupboards; butler’s pantry with sink and tap, fireplace, strong closet and convenient cupboards; lofty paved servants’ hall, spacious and lofty kitchen, paved and fitted with a Flavel’s patent Kitchener, wrought boiler, hot plate, hot closet, and pastry oven and communicating with a paved scullery, with sink, pump, and copper; paved larder; paved bakehouse, with brick over; two wine cellars and a beer cellar, and a passage with tradesmen’s entrance. There are convenient cupboards judiciously placed throughout the various apartments, which are all in capital order and well arranged”.

“The out-offices are in an enclosed gravel yard adjoining the residence, and consist of a paved laundry, with two coppers and fixed troughs with taps for hot and cold water, and drying and ironing room over, two servants’ rooms adjoining, paved dairy, and outer washing place, knife and boot cleaning house, coal cellar, and servants ’water closet, open wood shed and dust enclosure, a game larder, and a pump of spring water; also a gentleman’s closet”.

“The stable buildings, which are built of brick and slated, are conveniently near to the mansion, and comprise nine large and well ventilated loose boxes with iron fittings, a dry paved coach house, about 5 feet long, with sliding doors, and spacious loft over, and a bed room, a paved and boarded harness room, a washing house with furnace, a cleaning room fitted with corn bins and a yard adjoining with pump of spring water”.

The lodge to Goldington Bury June 2017
The lodge to Goldington Bury June 2017

“The entrance lodge (before mentioned) is substantially built of red brick and slated, to accord with the mansion, and contains parlour, kitchen, scullery, pantry, three bed rooms and an outer cellar and well”.

“The pleasure grounds comprise croquet and other lawns, laid out in parterres, and shaded by fine examples of weeping and other limes, horse and Spanish chestnuts, the acacia, weeping-ash, elm and service trees; also fine specimens of the Cedrus deodara and Cedar of Lebanon, Pinus excelsior, and Araucaria imbricate, the Austrian Pine, Irish and other yews, copperbeech, and double pink and white thorns interspersed with winding gravel walks, and margined by shrubberies of Portugal and other laurels, a geometrical rose garden”.

“An extensive and productive walled-in fruit and vegetable garden with Espalier pear and apple trees, and wall peach, nectarine, apricot, plum and cherry trees in full bearing, and a pump of spring water, and underground cistern for liquid manure in connection with the stables; a frame ground, fruit room, potato store, and potting shed, a paved and heated green-house, with Black Hambro’ vines, a vinery, next the residence, with Black Hambro’ and Muscat vines, heated by hot water”.

“A small farmery conveniently removed from the mansion, consisting of a loose box, cow house, granary, piggeries, meal house (formerly a stable), closet and straw yard, enclosed by folding gates, with a separate approach by a road leading into the public road”.

“Fronting the mansion is the ornamentally timbered park, which comprises numerous fine oaks, elms, chestnuts and limes in picturesque groups, also several clumps of fir and other trees, and a belt of plantation, screening the mansion and grounds from the village, and forming a secluded walk”.

Plan of Goldington Bury [ST382]
Plan of Goldington Bury [ST832]
to see a larger version please click on the image

“The whole numbered 10, 11 and 12 on Plan and together containing about 33 acres, 3 roods, 33 poles, let upon lease to Charles William Talbot-Ponsonby, esquire, for a term of ten years from 29th September 1869 (whereof 4 years will be unexpired at Michaelmas next) at a rent of £225 per annum”.

Goldington Bury was conveyed to Joseph Shuttleworth, whose family owned it into the 20th century. He purchased not only the mansion but the whole estate, comprising 631 acres, 2 roods, 34 poles for £50,860 [SL1/322].

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 valuer visiting the Bury [DV1/C228/147] found it owned by the trustees of Frank Shuttleworth and elased by Major J Deane for £228 per annum on a lease dating from 1910. The immediate grounds now contained 6.125 acres.

The hall measured 8 feet 6 inches by 24 feet. There were, on the ground floor, a dining room measuring 22 feet 6 inches by 15 feet and a cloakroom, down six steps one came to a wine cellar and two beer cellars, up three steps was a kitchen measuring 14 feet 3 inches by 26 feet (“good and high, semi-basement”), a scullery, a stoke hole, a maids’ sitting room, a butler’s pantry, a lumber room or billiard room measuring 30 feet by 19 feet, a drawing room measuring 11 feet 6 inches by 10 feet 9 inches and 19 feet 6 inches by 17 feet 3 inches and a study measuring 18 feet 3 inches by 14 feet. In the front was a panelled single bedroom measuring 14 feet 9 inches by 18 feet 6 inches, a bathroom and a double bedroom measuring 21 feet by 15 feet 3 inches. There was also a house maids’ sitting room, a WC and a bathroom with WC.

Upstairs were: a double bedroom measuring 20 feet by 17 feet 9 inches, and a dressing room, down some stairs was a linen room (“really boxroom”), a maids’ bathroom, a large boxroom, a housemaids’ room, three maids’ rooms, three empty bedrooms, two single bedrooms, a nursery measuring 19 feet by 14 feet 9 inches, a house maids’ sitting room with central heating and a night nursery measuring 21 feet by 15 feet.

Outside was a store place, two coal stores with two rooms over, a dairy, a four-bay shed, a workshop, an oil store and kennels. A heated glasshouse measured 40 feet by 15 feet 6 inches and there was another small glasshouse, gardener’s sheds, a walled kitchen garden, a vinery measuring 36 feet by 15 feet, a grass tennis court, two loose boxes, two unused loose boxes, another store place, a coachhouse used as a store, a garage with a loft over, a harness room used as stores, another store place and four unused loose boxes. The valuer commented: “Grounds small and poor, part very rough”.

He further noted: “Spoilt by semi-basement kitchen which is liable to be flooded, very long way to dining room. First floor also on two levels. Electric light, central heating over part, own drainage. Mains water. Property not fully occupied, not very striking”.

A farm went with the Bury and was also leased by Major Deane for four guineas per annum. The homestead comprised a brick and tiled four-bay hovel and loose box and weather-boarded and tiled hovel, two calf pens, mixing house, piggery, cow house for four beasts, store, henhouse and covered yard.

The Lodge was described [DV1/C228/151] as occupied by A A Harlow and comprised a parlour, a living room and kitchen with three bedrooms on the first floor. A two-bay earth closet stood outside.

In 1950 Goldington Bury was for sale by auction by the trustees of the Richard Ormonde Shuttleworth Remembrance Trust. The particulars [Z1091/4/1/13] include 460 acres of land as well as the “fine Georgian residence with 26 acres known as Goldington Bury”. Rooms are recorded as follows:

  • Entrance Hall with flagged stone floor;
  • Dining Room measuring 22 feet 8 inches by 14 feet 5 inches with fireplace and service door;
  • Smoke Room measuring 18 feet 3 inches by 14 feet 2 inches with painted panelled walls, cupboards and fireplace;
  • Cloakroom, half-tiled with lavatory basin and WC;
  • Drawing Room measuring 30 feet 3 inches by 18 feet 6 inches with oak floor, fireplace and casement doors to gardens;
  • Morning Room measuring 19 feet by 17 feet 7 inches and 11 feet 5 inches by 10 feet 9 inches with oak floor, fireplace and casements with access to garden;
  • Domestic Offices on the lower ground floor comprising butler’s pantry with sink and range of cupboards; wine cellar; housekeeper’s room; storeplace; kitchen with tiled floor; dresser; Eagle range of ovens; scullery with pair of Belfast sinks (not and cold) and copper; bakehouse; larder, part tiled; boiler room containing two Ideal boilers for domestic and central heating systems;
  • Adjoining range comprising two fuel stores, WC and three rooms on the floor above;

The first floor comprised:

  • Bedroom 1 measuring 19 feet by 14 feet 9 inches with oak panelling, built-in cupboards and fireplace;
  • Bathroom adjoining with bath (hot and cold), lavatory basin (not and cold) and WC;
  • Bedroom 2 measuring 22 feet 6 inches by 14 feet 9 inches with fireplace;
  • Housemaid’s Lobby with sink;
  • Wc;
  • Bathroom 2 with bath, lavatory basin and WC;
  • Bedroom 3 measuring 19 feet 10 inches by 17 feet 8 inches with fireplace and cupboards;
  • Dressing Room adjoining measuring 18 feet 6 inches by 8 feet 5 inches with fireplace and pair of built-in cupboards;
  • Bedroom 4 measuring 10 feet 11 inches by 11 feet 3 inches;
  • Bedroom 5 adjoining measuring 18 feet 6 inches by 12 feet with fireplace and cupboards;
  • Linen Room measuring 20 feet 9 inches by 17 feet 3 inches with fireplace, range of cupboards and heating pipes;
  • Bathroom 3 with bath and lavatory basin;
  • Schoolroom measuring 24 feet 2 inches by 15 feet 11 inches with fireplace;
  • Housemaid’s Room measuring 16 feet 3 inches by 15 feet 3 inches with fireplace

The second floor comprised:

  • Bedroom 6 measuring 19 feet 3 inches by 14 feet 8 inches with fireplace and cupboards;
  • Bathroom 4 with bath and lavatory basin;
  • Bedroom 7 measuring 21 feet by 14 feet 10 inches with fireplace and cupboards.

At the rear, the old servants’ quarters, were:

  • Bedrooms measuring 16 feet 8 inches by 15 feet and 17 feet 8 inches by 15 feet respectively;
  • WC;
  • Four attic rooms.

Mains water, electricity and drainage were connected, central heating was installed and a telephone was connected.

The property evidently did not sell. In 1953 Goldington Bury was acquired by Bedford Borough Council. It was eventually demolished and in 1964 plans were made to develop the site [BorBTP/LA64/339]. The site of the old house now lies beneath a block of flats and the grounds comprise the cricket ground used by Bedfordshire County Cricket Club. The lodge still stands.

The site of Goldington Bury June 2017
The site of Goldington Bury June 2017