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The Old Butchers Shop Lower Dean

The Old Butchers Shop May 2011
The Old Butcher's Shop May 2011

The Old Butcher's Shop was listed by the former Department of Environment in August 1983 as Grade II, of special interest. It was then described as the house north-east of Chestnut Farmhouse. The department dated the property to the 17th century. It is mostly constructed of colour-washed roughcast over a timber frame and has a thatched roof. The house comprises two storeys with attics with a one storey extension to the north-east which is built of colour-washed brick with weatherboarding and a thatched roof.

The Old Butcher's Shop was missed off the assessment carried out under the Rating and Valuation Act 1925. This is annoying since the survey includes details of owner, tenant, rent, number of rooms and outbuildings. It was, however, included in the Domesday Survey of 1910, carried out to establish rateable values of properties to raise revenue for David Lloyd-George's pioneering 1909 budget which can be seen as the first shoots of the welfare state.

In 1910 the buildings were owned by Fitzgerald Verity Dalton, J. P. of Dean House. The occupier was Thomas Brown and the property was listed as a house, shop, buildings and cottage [DBV1/33]. Kelly's Directory for Bedfordshire for 1910 confirms that Thomas Brown was a farmer and butcher.

Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has a number of directories for the county dating from 1839 to 1940. These give some details of names and addresses of prominent people in each parish. The following list of butchers in Lower Dean has been compiled. Of course, they did not necessarily live at the Old Butchers Shop though it seems likely that Thomas Brown and then his son William both did throughout the years specified. County directories were only published every few years and so the dates in the list simply include the first and last reference to a particular individual residing at a property.

  • 1854-1869: William Dunmore;
  • 1854-1862: Samuel Gale;
  • 1864-1871: William Gale;
  • 1885-1920: Thomas Brown;
  • 1928-1931: Thomas Brown and son
  • 1936-1930: William Brown.