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61 Bedford Road Mogerhanger

61 Bedford Road - Willow Cottage - August 2009
61 Bedford Road - Willow Cottage - August 2009

Willow Cottage stands to the south of Bedford Road near the turning into Park Road. It stands back from the road. The cottage was listed by the former Department of Environment in March 1985 as Grade II, of special interest. The department dated the building to about 1700. As with most early dwellings in the area it is timber-framed with a colourwashed roughcast render to the exterior. It has a thatched roof and a simple two room plan downstairs and up, having two distinct storeys rather than the more normal single storey with attics.

The Rating and Valuation Act of 1925 specified that every piece of land and building in the country should be assessed to determine the rates to be paid on it. Blunham was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting Willow Cottage [DV1/C208/124] noted that it was owned by a W. S. Inman and occupied by a W. Norman at a rent of two shillings per week, which had been set forty years before in 1887! Perhaps the reason for this was the valuer's estimation of the property: "Low, Poor, Old". It comprised a parlour and living room downstairs, though two sculleries had been added at some point, suggesting that the cottage had been divided into two small tenements. There were two bedrooms upstairs and a barn outside. As with most old properties in Mogerhanger, water came from an outside tap.