Skip Navigation
 
 

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community archives > Husborne Crawley > Bedford Estates Cottages in Horsepool Lane Husborne Crawley

Bedford Estates Cottages in Horsepool Lane Husborne Crawley

11 to 14 Horsepool Lane about 1900 [X21/765/13]
11 to 14 Horsepool Lane about 1900 [X21/765/13]

Husborne Crawley has fifteen blocks of Bedford Estate cottages, mostly built in the 1850s and 1860s. This is a total of 61 separate homes. They can be found in Crow Lane, Horsepool Lane, Mill Road, Ridgmont Road, School Lane and Turnpike Road. Some were listed by the former Department of Environment, which gave a general background as follows: "The 7th Duke of Bedford recognised the advantages of housing agricultural labourers in comfortable dwellings. From the late 1840's onwards the emphasis in Bedford Estate cottage building was on the utilitarian rather than the Picturesque. The cottages are not only remarkable for the high
quality of construction at such an early date, but also represent an
influential contribution to the development of working class housing which
culminated in the garden cities and early council housing. The Dukes of
Bedford built about 500 cottages in the locality between the 1840's and World
War One. The brickwork seems to be an early type of cavity walling". The cottages were known locally as the Duke of Bedford's Mansions because they were so well designed and built.

Two blocks of houses were built in Horsepool Lane – 7 to 10 and 11 to 14 The Village. They were built in 1854 in red brick and had tiled roofs. The front elevation of Numbers 11 to 14 has since been rendered. Number 7 to 10 has a slightly patchy appearance where some sections of the red bricks have turned crimson over the years.

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. Husborne Crawley, like most of the county, was assessed in 1927. The valuer visiting Horsepool Lane [DV1/C53/10-17] found that each cottage had a living room and a kitchen downstairs, two bedrooms upstairs and a coal barn and earth closet outside. Each block shared a washhouse and water was laid on to each yard. Other details were as follows:

  • 7: occupied by George Wilsher who paid rent of 15/2 per quarter. He also had a pigsty outside;
  • 8: Mrs. Anne Grace who paid rent of 15/2 per quarter. She also had a pigsty outside;
  • 9: Dan Kent whose rent was included in his wages. He also had a pigsty outside ("neglect");
  • 10: Joseph Sharp who paid rent of 15/2 per quarter.
  • 11: Frederick Alfred Yates whose rent was included in his wages. He also had a pigsty outside;
  • 12: Frederick Bowler who paid rent of thirteen shillings per quarter;
  • 13: John Sibley who paid rent of twelve shillings per quarter. He also had a pigsty outside ("neglect");
  • 14: John Wilsher who paid rent of 14/1 per quarter.
7 to 10 Horsepool Lane January 2011
7 to 10 Horsepool Lane January 2011