Chequers Cottage Kensworth
Chequers Cottage January 2013
Chequers Cottage was listed by the former Department of Environment in September 1980 as Grade II, of special interest. The property dates from the 17th century and is constructed of whitewashed brick, with timber-framing exposed at the first floor elevation. The cottage comprises two storeys beneath an old clay tile roof. Modern extensions lie to the rear. From at least the mid 19th century until 1904 the cottage was a Public House called, as one may have deduced, The Chequers.
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. Kensworth, like most of the county, was assessed in 1927. The valuer visiting Chequers Cottage [DV1/C114/30] found that it was owned by the trustees of Benjamin Bennett, deceased, of Dunstable and tenanted by R. Iles who paid rent of six shillings per week. The cottage stood in just over half an acre.
The “Nice” property comprised a reception room, a living room, a kitchen and a washhouse on the ground floor with four bedrooms above. A brick and tiled barn “used as store shed and odd jobs” stood outside along with a brick and tiled fowl house.
In 1943 Bennett’s Kensworth Estate was put up for sale by auction. The sale particulars [BML10/38/11] auction sale particulars specify that it was occupied by a man named Gainsford whose rent was £25 per annum for three bedrooms, a bathroom with bath and wash basin, a W. C., two sitting rooms and a kitchen. “There is a delightful garden with Lawn, Fruit Trees, Flower Beds and Vegetable borders and a small range of Brick and Tile outbuildings comprising Garage and Wood Barn”. The cottage stood in just over half an acre. “The Bath, Lavatory Basin, the W. C. fitting, Electric installation, Water fittings and galvanised Iron Building are claimed by the Tenant as fixtures”.