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3 to 5 The Square Hockliffe

3 to 5 The Square February 2013
3 to 5 The Square February 2013

These properties were listed by the former Department of the Environment in 1979 as Grade II, of special interest. The properties are described in the listing as of seventeenth century origin, timber-framed with whitewashed brick noggin (the is, timbers incased in brick) and a clay tile roof and with the roughcast covered gable end to the road. It seems likely that the building was originally the George Inn, which was divided up into cottages in the early 19th century when other cottages were also built nearby [HN UNCAT Box 52]. The listed building on the opposite side of The Square, Gable End, may have been a barn.

The Square shown on the 1926 Valuation Map
The Square shown on the 1926 Valuation Map

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. The extract above taken from the valuation map drawn up when Hockliffe was assessed in 1926 shows clearly that The Square had recently a group of ten cottages arranged on three sides of a square fronting onto the west side of Watling Street. The properties now known as 3 to 5 The Square are two of the three terraced cottages on the north-west side of the square, numbered 20 and 21 on the map above. The cottage on the left (number 19 above) appears to have had later alterations made to it and has not been listed by the Department of the Environment.

The occupier in 1926 of the unlisted property was D. Birch who the valuer noted was the owner of all the houses in this "young community" – possibly an ironic description as both the houses and at least one of the residents were very old. The properties were described as in good repair. The middle cottage was occupied by W. Wood at a rent four shillings; this had a kitchen and scullery downstairs, two bedrooms upstairs and a barn. The valuer appears to have made an error when surveying these properties as he also used the number 21 for the Congregational Chapel immediately to the north of The Square; the entry that appears in the valuation book under 21 relates to the chapel and no description is given of the cottage with the gable end facing Watling Street.