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Bedford Estates Cottages in Turnpike Road Husborne Crawley

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.

Turnpike Road is almost exclusively made up of Bedford Estate cottages: there are eight separate blocks. 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. The valuer visiting Husborne Crawley listed the details for each of the blocks in Turnpike Road which are included in the descriptions below. Each cottage comprised a living room and a kitchen downstairs with a coal barn and an earth closet outside. The number of bedrooms and other accommodation varied and these variations are noted in the descriptions. Sanitation was by earth closets and no property had electricity, lighting being by oil lamps. Each block had water laid on to the yard except Numbers 15 to 18 and Numbers 23 to 26.

A number of the blocks are, to quote the Department of Environment: part of an important linear grouping of estate cottages along a road which forms part of the boundary of WoburnPark" and were listed for group value. Today many of the houses are obscured by foliage grown to give a measure of noise protection from the busy road, otherwise the view along Turnpike Road today would not be dissimilar to that a hundred and fifty years ago save for the tarmac road and telegraph poles.

1 to 3 Turnpike Road January 2011
1 to 3 Turnpike Road January 2011

1 to 3 Turnpike Road

This block was listed by the former Department of Environment in January 1986 as Grade II, of special interest. It dates to 1852. The buildings are slightly more ornate than the normal Bedford Estate cottage, with yellow brick dressings. The Department noted: "The increased use of ornament in this block is due to its siting opposite an entrance lodge to Woburn Abbey".

  • 1 [DV1/C53/1] – occupied by George Cook who paid rent of 14/1 per quarter. He had a pantry downstairs and three bedrooms above. The valuer commented: "neglect";
  • 2 [DV1/C53/2] – occupied by Stephen Appleby; whose rent was included in his wages. He had two bedrooms;
  • 3 [DV1/C53/3] – occupied by Andrew Stapleton who paid rent of 14/1 per quarter. He had three bedrooms.

4 to 6 Turnpike Road January 2011
4 to 6 Turnpike Road January 2011

4 to 6 Turnpike Road

This block is not listed although it is of similar construction to 1 to 3 Turnpike Road and dates to just a year later.

  • 4 [DV1/C53/4] – occupied George Edward Newman who paid rent of 14/1 per quarter. He had three bedrooms;
  • 5 [DV1/C53/5] – occupied by Joseph Bosworth who paid rent of 11/11 per quarter. He had two bedrooms;
  • 6 [DV1/C53/6] - Joel Boxford who paid rent of 11/11 per quarter. He had two bedrooms.

15 to 18 Turnpike Road in 1981 [Z50/65/10]
15 to 18 Turnpike Road in 1981 [Z50/65/10]

15 to 18 Turnpike Road

This block was listed by the former Department of Environment in January 1986 as Grade II, of special interest, though, on the 8th October 1986 Number 18 was deleted from the listing. This is the classic red brick Bedford Estate row and dates from 1853.

  • 15 [DV1/C53/18] – occupied by Herbert Redding, who paid rent of 14/1. He had three bedrooms;
  • 16 [DV1/C53/19] – occupied by Albert Yates, who paid rent of 11/11 per quarter. He had two bedrooms;
  • 17 [DV1/C53/20] – occupied by Charles William Pearce, who paid rent of 11/11 per quarter. He had two bedrooms;
  • 18 [DV1/C53/21] – occupied by Albert Fleet, who paid rent of 14/1 per quarter. He had three bedrooms.

19 to 22 Turnpike Road in 1981 [Z50/65/11]
19 to 22 Turnpike Road in 1981 [Z50/65/11]

19 to 22 Turnpike Road

20 to 22 from this block were listed by the former Department of Environment in January 1986 as Grade II, of special interest. Number 19 was not listed because of its modern extensions. The block dates from 1852.

  • 19 [DV1/C53/22] – occupied by Mrs. Emily Pratt, who paid rent of 14/1 per quarter. He had three bedrooms;
  • 20 [DV1/C53/23] – occupied by Thomas Sabey, who paid rent of thirteen shillings per quarter. He had two bedrooms. He also had a pigsty in the yard ("neglect");
  • 21 [DV1/C53/24] – occupied by Frederick Peacock, who paid rent of thirteen shillings per quarter. He had two bedrooms and also had a pigsty in yard;
  • 22 [DV1/C53/25] – occupied by Joseph Grace, who paid rent of 14/1 per quarter. He had three bedrooms.

23 to 26 Turnpike Road in 1981 [Z50/65/12]
23 to 26 Turnpike Road in 1981 [Z50/65/12]

23 to 26 Turnpike Road

This block was listed by the former Department of Environment in January 1986 as Grade II, of special interest and dates from 1853.

  • 23 [DV1/C53/26] – occupied by Albert Sibley, who paid rent of 14/1 per quarter. He had three bedrooms;
  • 24 [DV1/C53/27] - occupied by Harry Young, whose rent was included in his wages. He had two bedrooms;
  • 25 [DV1/C53/28] – occupied by Harry Lawrence who paid rent of thirteen shillings per quarter. He had two bedrooms;
  • 26 [DV1/C53/29] – occupied by Mrs. Susan Dickens who paid rent of 14/1 per quarter. He had three bedrooms and also had a washhouse ("neglect") and a pigsty outside.

27 to 30 Turnpike Road in 1981 [Z50/65/13]
27 to 30 Turnpike Road in 1981 [Z50/65/13]

27-30 Turnpike Road

This block was listed by the former Department of Environment in January 1986 as Grade II, of special interest and dates from 1853.

  • 27 [DV1/C53/30] – occupied by John Woods, who paid rent of 14/1 per quarter. He had three bedrooms. He had a pigsty in the yard;
  • 28 [DV1/C53/31] – occupied by Mrs. Katherine Driver, who paid rent of thirteen shillings per quarter. She had two bedrooms;
  • 29 [DV1/C53/34] – occupied by William Neale who paid rent of thirteen shillings per quarter. He had two bedrooms and he had a pigsty in the yard;
  • 30 [DV1/C53/35] – occupied by Joseph Peacock who paid rent of 14/1 per quarter. He had three bedrooms upstairs and a pigsty in the yard.

34 to 39 Turnpike Road January 2008
34 to 39 Turnpike Road January 2008

34-39 Turnpike Road

This block was listed by the former Department of Environment in January 1986 as Grade II, of special interest and dates from 1854.

  • 34 [DV1/C53/44] – occupied by George Deacon, who paid rent of 16/3 per quarter. He had three bedrooms;
  • 35 [DV1/C53/45] – occupied by Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Cork, who paid rent of thirteen shillings per quarter. She had two bedrooms;
  • 36 and 37 [DV1/C53/46] – occupied by Joseph Sibley, whose rent was included in his in wages. He had three living rooms, a kitchen and four bedrooms as well as a coal barn and an earth closet. The valuer commented: "Two cottages knocked into one" and noted: "N. B.  According to existing Valuation List the above occupier pays rates on one of these cottages only. This is due to an error";
  • 38 [DV1/C53/48] – occupied by George Sibley, who paid rent of thirteen shillings per quarter. He had two bedrooms;
  • 39 [DV1/C53/49] – occupied by Edwin William Gilks, who paid rent of 14/1 per quarter. He had three bedrooms.

40 to 45 Turnpike Road January 2011
40 to 45 Turnpike Road January 2011

40-45 Turnpike Road

This block was listed by the former Department of Environment in January 1986 as Grade II, of special interest and dates from 1854.

  • 40 [DV1/C53/50] – occupied by Edwin Billingham; 14/1 per quarter; living room; kitchen; three bedrooms; coal barn; earth closet; pigsty;
  • 41 [DV1/C53/51] – occupied by George Page, who paid rent of sixteen shillings per quarter. He had two bedrooms;
  • 42 [DV1/C53/52] – occupied by Miss Gertrude Grace, who paid rent of thirteen shillings per quarter. She had two bedrooms;
  • 43 [DV1/C53/53] – occupied by Arthur Charles Bowler, who paid rent of thirteen shillings per quarter. He had two bedrooms upstairs and a pigsty outside;
  • 44 [DV1/C53/54] – occupied by Horace Smith, who paid rent of thirteen shillings per quarter. He had two bedrooms;
  • 45 [DV1/C53/55] – occupied by Edwin Battams, who paid rent of 15/2 per quarter. He had three bedrooms.

In 2009 24 Turnpike Road was for sale. The sale particulars [Z449/4/89] described a living room measuring 11 feet 10 inches by 10 feet 9 inches; a dining room measuring 11 feet 10 inches by 9 feet 1 inch and a kitchen measuring 10 feet 9 inches by 10 feet 7 inches. Upstairs were a shower room and two bedrooms measuring 11 feet 10 inches by 10 feet 10 inches and 8 feet 10 inches by 7 feet 8 inches, respectively.