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Bedford Estates Cottages in Eversholt Road Ridgmont

5 to 11 Eversholt Road December 2010
5 to 11 Eversholt Road December 2010

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 Eversholt Road were built in 1910 in the usual red brick with tiled roofs. They are in three blocks numbered 5 to 11, 13 and 15 and 17 to 23.

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 Eversholt Road [DV1/C54/134-143] 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 ten cottages. All were lit by lamps, having no electricity.

13 and 15 Eversholt Road December 2010
13 and 15 Eversholt Road December 2010

Individual details were as follows:

  • 5: occupied by Joseph Taylor who paid rent of 26/- per quarter;
  • 7: occupied by Harry Lawrence who paid rent of 32/6 per quarter;
  • 9: occupied by Alfred Lawson who paid rent of 2/- per week;
  • 11: occupied by Samuel Pilgrim who paid rent of 2/- per week.
  • 13: occupied by C. Maddy who paid rent of 2/6 per week;
  • 15: occupied by A. Sibley who paid rent of 2/6 per week.
  • 17: occupied by Alfred Wills who paid rent of 2/6 per week;
  • 19: occupied by Mrs. H. Pilgrim who paid rent of 2/- per week;
  • 21: occupied by F. Turney who paid rent of 2/6 per week;
  • 23: occupied by W. Busby who paid rent of 2/6 per week.

17 to 23 Eversholt Road December 2010
17 to 23 Eversholt Road December 2010