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Bedford Estates Cottages In Crawley Road Ridgmont

1 to 7 Crawley Road January 2012
1 to 7 Crawley Road January 2012

Ridgmont has thirteen blocks of Bedford Estate cottages, mostly built in the early years of the 20th century, though some are mid 19th century like similar blocks in Husborne Crawley. This is a total of 38 homes. The former Department of Environment gave a general background as follows: "The 7th Duke of Bedford recognised the advantages of housing agricultural labourers in comfortable dwellings. From the late 1840's onwards the emphasis in Bedford Estate cottage building was on the utilitarian rather than the Picturesque. The cottages are not only remarkable for the high quality of construction at such an early date, but also represent an influential contribution to the development of working class housing which culminated in the garden cities and early council housing. The Dukes of Bedford built about 500 cottages in the locality between the 1840's and World War One. The brickwork seems to be an early type of cavity walling". The cottages were known locally as the Duke of Bedford's Mansions because they were so well designed and built.

The cottages in Crawley Road were built in 1912 in the usual red brick with tiled roofs. 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. Ridgmont, like most of the county was assessed in 1927. The valuer visiting the properties in Crawley Road [DV1/C54/1-4] found that they all comprised a parlour, a living room and a washhouse downstairs, with three bedrooms above as well as a brick and tiled coal barn and an earth closet outside. The block had water laid onto a tap which served all four cottages. All were lit by lamps, having no electricity. They were then simply numbered 58 to 61 The Village.

Individual details were as follows. Each tenant paid 2/6 per week in rent:

  • 1: occupied by W. Williamson;
  • 3: occupied by H. Newell;
  • 5: occupied by T. Matthews;
  • 7: occupied by H. Cook.