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20 Sand Lane Northill

20 Sand Lane March 2010
20 Sand Lane March 2010

20 Sand Lane is an older building than appears at first glance. The Bedfordshire Historic Environment Record [HER] contains information on the county’s historic buildings and landscapes and summaries of each entry can now be found online as part of the Heritage Gateway website. The entry for 20 Sand Lane [HER 8688] states: “18th century timber-framed cottage with later alterations and extensions. One storey and attics, slate roof. The South elevation has three gabled dormers and three ground floor casement windows.

In 1910 a thorough rating valuation was carried out across England as part of David Lloyd-George’s pioneering 1909 budget. The survey was so thorough it was known colloquially as the Domesday Survey. The results show that all the older buildings in Northill were owned by John Edmund Audley Harvey, who, though he lived in London, was Lord of the Manor of Northill as well as Lord of the Manor of Ickwell and owner of Ickwell Bury. These buildings may have been built by a former Lord of the Manor or bought by the Manor at a later stage – detailed research of the Harvey [HY] archive would be needed to try to establish this in each case, unless the current owners still have the deeds to the properties concerned and so can research the history for themselves.

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. Northill was assessed in 1927 and the annotations on the second edition 25 inches to the mile Ordnance Survey map made by the valuer which tie in to his notes are rather confused when it comes to Sand Lane. However 20 Sand Lane seems [DV1/C42/119] to have been owned by Mrs. A. M. Little and occupied by George Marshall at a rent of 3/6 per week, set in 1921. His accommodation comprised a living room and kitchen with two bedrooms above. An earth closet and three sheds (“very poor”) stood outside along with a coal shed. Water came from an outside tap.