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51 to 55 Woburn Road Heath and Reach

51 to 55 Woburn Road April 2008
51 to 55 Woburn Road April 2008

When Heath and Reach was inclosed in 1841 Numbers 51 to 55 Woburn Road were owned by the devisees of Thomas Day, in other words, he had left it to these devisees in his will. In the inclosure award the property was described as cottages and gardens standing in 39 poles of land. The property was listed by the former Department of Environment in 1967 as Grade II, of special interest. The structure dates from the late 17th century and is built of brick - red stretchers and grey headers. It has two storeys and a hipped old clay tile
roof with a central red brick stack which has two semi-circular arched panels. There is a lower 18th century rear wing, formerly Number 51.

Under the terms of the Rating and Valuation Act 1925 every piece of land and building in the country was assessed to determine the rates to be paid on them. Heath and Reach was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting the property [DV1/C233/18-20] noted that the building was owned by Joseph Rayner who occupied part of it, Number 51, comprising a living room, kitchen and scullery downstairs with three bedrooms above.

Another part, Number 53, was occupied by J. H. Webb who had a living room and scullery downstairs with two bedrooms and a boxroom above. A wood and corrugated iron washhouse stood outside and he paid four shillings per week rent. The other occupier, in 55, was J. Croxford who had a living room and scullery downstairs with two bedrooms and a boxroom above. He also had a barn and an outside washhouse ("neglect").

The valuer considered the property to be a "Farm house type". Rayner was a wheelwright and used a substantial outside workshop comprising a wood, corrugated iron and slate paint shop and carpenters shop measuring about 20 feet by 40 feet and a brick and slate forge shop. The Rayners were established wheelwrights in the village, James Rayner appears in directories for 1885 and 1890, James Jabez Rayner in 1894, 1898, 1903 and 1910, Mrs. Annie Rayner in 1914, 1920 and 1924 and Joseph Rayner in 1928, 1931 and 1936.