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Church Cottage Melchbourne

Church Cottage February 2014
Church Cottage February 2014

Church Cottage was listed by the former Ministry of Public Building and Works in July 1964 as Grade II, of special interest. It dates from the 17th century and is timber-framed with colour-washed plaster and a thatched roof. It is built in a T-shape and comprises two storeys. A one-storey lean-to extension was erected in the 20th century on the right-hand side.

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 the cottage found that, like most of the parish, it was owned by Lord Saint John of Bletsoe. The tenant was R Hayes who worked for Lord Saint John. His accommodation comprised a living room, a parlour, a kitchen and three bedrooms with a brick and tiled barn outside and a large garden. The valuer commented: "Very nice. Gardener lives here" and "Might be a weekend place".

On 31st March 1951 Lord Saint John's estate in Melchbourne, Bletsoe and Riseley, known as the Melchbourne Estate and totalling 1,889 acres was put up for sale by auction in 81 lots [AD1147/32]. Church Cottage was now tenanted by A N Dickson who paid £55 per annum in rent and paying one shilling per annum "for the privilege of a water supply pipe over adjoining land". Accommodation comprised a dining room, sitting room, kitchen, pantry, two bedrooms, bathroom and separate WC. Electricity was installed and water, as we have seen, was connected. Drainage was to a cesspool. The trees standing on the land were valued at £54 as timber.

Some important works were planned to the cottage in 1989. The roof was re-thatched and windows and chimney pots replaced [BorBTP/89/839/LB]. A two storey rear extension was also planned [BorBTP/89/1799/LB].

Church Cottage in 1951 [AD1147/32]
Church Cottage in 1951 [AD1147/32]