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91 High Street Odell

Post Office about 1920
Odell Post Office about 1920 [Z50/86/9]

Like most of Odell 91 High Street formed part of the Odell Castle Estate until its sale in 1934. This means that evidence of the property's history from deeds before that date does not exist as there had been no need for them. The property was listed by the former Department of Environment in 1964. It is described as a pair of 18th century cottages now one house. Like most of the older properties in the area it is constructed of coursed limestone rubble. It has a thatched roof and a rear extension to left hand side in local chequered brick with an old clay tile roof. The house has two storeys

In 1927 Odell was valued under the terms of the Rating and Valuation Act 1925; every piece of land and building in the country was assessed to determine the rates to be paid on it. The valuer visiting the building [DV1/C166/38-40] noted that it was, at that time, split into three. One end was occupied by F.Foskitt at a rent of £5 per annum and comprised a living room, kitchen and washhouse downstairs with three bedrooms "one very bad" above. A pigsty and barn lay outside, together with a "good garden". The valuer remarked: "very low roof but three beds".

The centre part of the building was occupied by A.J.Hawkes and comprised a living room and kitchen, two first floor bedrooms and a second floor attic. Outside lay a wood garage ["very good"], pigsty, stone and corrugated iron wood barn, brick and corrugated iron washhouse and a stone and thatch barn. The valuer remarked: "better house [than many in Odell] but stands right on road". The other end of the row was occupied by E.J.Coleman at an annual rent of £8 plus four shillings per annum for the garden. This was the village post office. The office measured 8 feet by 9 feet and the rest of the dwelling comprised a living room plus a bay, a kitchen, three first floor bedrooms and a second floor attic. Barns and a washhouse stood outside; the garden was on the opposite side of the road; "better house but stands right on road" £8 per annum rent plus 4/- per annum for the garden

In the Odell Castle sale catalogue of 1934 [AD1147/19] the cottage occupied by Foskitt was then in occupation of J.H.Ashton at a rent of £5/4/- per annum. It is described as containing two bedrooms, two living rooms and a lean-to brick and tile washhouse with a boxroom over. The particulars for the middle part of the row and the post office read: "The Dwelling House used as the Post Office is occupied by Mr.E.Coleman at an apportioned annual rent of £7:15:0 on an implied quarterly tenancy and the accommodation comprises 2 Living Rooms and 3 Bedrooms. The other Dwelling House is registered as decontrolled, is occupied by Mr.Hawkes on a service tenancy and contains Living Room, Kitchen, Pantry and 3 Bedrooms. The Dwelling Houses are stone built with thatched and slated roofs. The Outbuildings comprise Brick-and-tiled Wash-house, Coalplace, Barn, Garage &c. The Timber and Felt-roofed Building in the Yard is claimed as the property of the Tenant, Mr.Coleman".

91 High Street May 2008
91 High Street May 2008

Since 1934 the part of the row occupied by Foskitt, then Ashton, which projected forward towards the road, has been pulled down, leaving the former centre part and the former post office. The whole is now a private house.

The following partial list of postmasters has been obtained from directories (dates being those in which they appear in directories, not necessarily indicative of either the date they began or ended their tenancy):

  • 1847-1864: Chas Coleman;
  • 1869: James Fennell;
  • 1894-1903: George Fennell;
  • 1910-1940: Edward John Coleman