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Crows Nest Hockliffe

Crows' Nest through branches February 2013
Crows' Nest through branches February 2013

Crows' Nest Cottage was listed by the former Department of the Environment in 1980 as Grade II, of special interest. According to the listing entry the timber-framed cottage was built in the sixteenth century. It is described as consisting of one storey and attics, colour-washed with brick noggin (brick infill to timber framing), with a corrugated iron roof, three modern casements and two gabled dormers with leaded casements. [HER5328]. The corrugated iron has since been replaced with thatch which would have been its original covering.

Crows Nest cottage was part of the Hockliffe Grange estate and was sold as Lot 22 when the estate was put up for auction in 1917. The lot consisted of a cottage and meadow situated opposite Saint Nicholas Church. The cottage was described as built of timber, plaster, and thatched, containing five rooms, and with a garden and water from a well. It was let to Mr. Robert Fuller for £6 10s per annum The right to access and use water from the well was reserved to the occupants of two newly built cottages on the opposite side of Church Lane. The adjoining meadow of 1.818 acres was let to Mr C. Ellingham for £5 p.a. [AD3717]

 Side view of Crows' Nest February 2013
Side view of Crows' Nest February 2013

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. When Hockliffe was assessed in 1927 Crows Nest was owned by W. Rickett and occupied by H. Austin for a weekly rent of 3/6. Constructed of lath and plaster, weather board and thatch, and of brick and timber, it contained a parlour, kitchen, scullery and coal hole downstairs, and had two bedrooms in the roof. The valuer notes that it had been condemned before the war [DV1/C201/59]

There is a tradition in the village that Crows Nest was a plague cottage and that the ghost of a hooded nun has been seen walking from the Church opposite to the cottage. [BBC Domesday Reloaded website].