The Chestnuts Hockliffe
The Chestnuts March 2015
The Chestnuts stands on the eastern side of Watling Street towards the south-eastern end of the village in the area formerly part of Chalgrave parish which was transferred to Hockliffe in 1929. The property was listed by the former Department of the Environment in 1980 as Grade II, of special interest. It is a two storey building with a gable end abutting the road and dates from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Features mentioned in the listing are red brick stretchers and vitrified headers, an old clay tile roof, casement windows with glazing bars, and a heavy red brick stack. Timber-framing is visible to the road elevation [HER6421]. The outbuildings of The Chestnuts were previously used as a wheelwright's and carriage maker's workshop. Photographs show the property in use for this purpose as late as 2002 [Z1221/1-3]. When new carriages were completed Watling Street was closed to allow them to be run out onto the road.
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 area of Hockliffe formerly in Chalgrave was assessed in 1926. At this time the Chestnuts was owned and occupied by J. Willison. The property was described as being of brick, tile and thatch construction. Downstairs there were two reception rooms and a kitchen, and upstairs three bedrooms. Outbuildings included a brick and thatch washhouse, a weatherboard and corrugated iron wheelwright's shop with a 5 h.p. engine, 24 feet of two inch shafting band and circular saws; a wood and corrugated iron cart and timber store; and a brick, weatherboard and slate old paint shop [DV1/C15/48]. The value described it as a "rotten house" with poor buildings and power very little used.