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Yew Tree Cottage - 2 Northill Road Ickwell

Yew Tree Cottage Northill Road April 2009
Yew Tree Cottage Northill Road April 2009

Yew Tree Cottage was listed by the former Department of Environment in March 1985 as Grade II, of special interest. The department dated the property to the 17th century. It is built of colour washed roughcast over a timber frame, has a thatched roof, one storey and attics. Substantial 20th century additions lie to the rear.

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. Ickwell was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting 31 Ickwell Road, as it was then known [DV1/C44/1] found it owned and occupied by William Wilsher. The property stood in just under half an acre.

The valuer commented: “Plaster and thatch – good but floor of rooms affected with fungus” he also noted: “Yew arch in garden. Stud work, very low – well kept”. Accommodation comprised two living rooms, kitchen and scullery with three bedrooms above. Mains water was laid on.

Outside lay a small garden and lawn. There was a brick and tiled washhouse and coal shed measuring 12 feet by 10 feet “in course of erection” and an earth closet. There were two wood and tiled sheds, an old wood and tiled shed and a wood and corrugated iron carpenter’s shop measuring 30 feet by 18 feet with an office inside. Kelly’s Directory for 1928 confirms that William Wilsher was, indeed, the village carpenter. The directories, not published every year, show he was there from at least 1920 until at least 1940 which was the last Kelly’s published for the county.