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Roxton Park

Roxton Park in 1960 [Z53/97/3]
Roxton Park in 1960 [Z53/97/3]

Roxton Park was listed by the former Department of Environment in May 1952 as Grade II, of special interest. The department dated the small country house to the late 18th century with 19th century additions. This means that the house was built by the Metcalfe family, Lord of the Manor of Roxton from at least 1737 until the mid 19th century.

The house is built of red brick with a stone coped slate roof. It has a double-pile plan with 2-span roof – in other words two parallel blocks under separate roofs. The block at the rear is 19th century.

Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has some leases of Roxton Park in the Metcalfe Collection [X478]. In 1864 Rev. Robert Delap leased the house, with 749 acres and 37 poles of land to Thomas Cranfield of Roxton, yeoman, for £1,274/0/4 per annum [X478/142]. This lease was renewed in 1873 at a rent of £1,226/16/- per annum [X478/143]. The fields over which the farm extended were as follows:

  • the park itself - 36 acres, 2 roods, 39 poles;
  • Dog Kennel Field - 69 acres, 1 rood, 27 poles
  • Hill Field - 7 acres, 1 rood, 31 poles;
  • Barford Meadow - 19 acres, 2 roods, 6 poles;
  • The Holme - 7 acres, 3 roods, 1 pole;
  • Roxton Little Meadow - 17 acres, 1 rood, 37 poles;
  • Stone Holme - 2 acres, 6 poles;
  • The Mead - 1 acre, 29 poles;
  • Tongue Hill Field - 17 acres, 1 rood, 37 poles;
  • Twenty Acres - 21 acres, 2 roods, 16 poles;
  • Chawston Road Field - 17 acres, 3 roods, 19 poles;
  • Bush Field - 12 acres, 18 poles;
  • Long Spinney Field - 11 acres, 2 rood, 25 poles;
  • Cranfield Close - 16 acres, 2 roods, 38 poles;
  • Barford Field - 21 acres, 2 roods, 3 poles;
  • Dale Field - 30 acres, 3 roods, 10 poles;
  • Hovel Pasture - 24 acres, 3 roods, 29 poles;
  • Wood End Field - 58 acres, 32 poles;
  • Barn Pasture - 9 acres, 1 rood, 20 poles;
  • Ley Field - 32 acres, 21 poles;
  • Saville Pasture - 24 acres, 9 poles;
  • Palace Yard Wood - 2 roods, 5 poles;
  • Mortons Pasture - 18 acres, 24 poles;
  • Barn Field - 34 acres, 1 rood, 9 poles;
  • Upper Pasture - 19 acres, 1 rood, 17 poles;
  • Furze Pasture - 21 acres, 30 poles;
  • First Stockings - 21 acres, 4 poles;
  • Second Stocking - 14 acres, 2 roods, 24 poles;
  • Third Stocking - 10 acres, 32 poles;
  • Upper Langley Slip - 15 acres, 34 poles;
  • Lower Langley Slip - 15 acres, 3 roods, 36 poles;
  • Over the Way Field - 11 acres, 2 roods, 25 poles;
  • First Home Meadow - 1 acre, 3 roods, 11 poles;
  • Second Home Meadow - 3 acres, 12 poles;
  • Long Meadow - 6 acres, 3 roods, 14 poles;
  • Upper Leas - 12 acres, 0 roods, 11 poles;
  • Five Acres - 5 cares, 3 poles;
  • Twenty One Acres - 21 acres, 2 roods, 26 poles;
  • Sixteen Acres - 17 acres, 0 roods, 37 poles;
  • Mill Green - 4 acres, 3 roods;
  • River Close - 3 acres, 1 rood, 7 poles;
  • an osier bed of 31 poles.

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. Roxton was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting Roxton Park found it the farmhouse for Roxton Park Farm [DV1/H12/2]. The farm was owned and occupied by Fred Bath and comprised 780 acres. Bath or a predecessor had presumably bought the house and farm from the Delap family, the former Lords of the Manor of Roxton.

The house comprised a hall, dining room (“nice”),  billiard room, breakfast room, office, kitchen and scullery, dairy, servants’ room, scullery, lamp room and larder downstairs with five bedrooms, a nursery, a boxroom, three attics, a maids’ room, laundry, w. c., and bathroom with hot and cold running water above. Outside lay a tool house, a copper house for heating water, an ash pit, four garages, a nag stable, two store houses, a kitchen garden and a tennis court.

The homestead lay next to the kitchen garden wall and contained: an open shed, part partitioned; a two bay shed; a hen house; a pig yard with two three bay sheds; a cooling house; another hen house; a cow house for twenty eight beasts with a concrete floor; a cow house for twenty with a concrete floor and a loft over part; a corn mill with gas engine; a chaff store; a covered yard; a cow house for six; a cow house for two; five piggeries; an old granary; four loose boxes; a four bay open shed; a barn with a concrete floor; a stable for six horses and a stable for four; an implement shed and a ten bay cart shed. Buildings were built of weather-boarding and tiles, weather-boarding and thatch and weather-boarding and corrugated iron.

Directories for Bedfordshire were published every few years from the mid 19th to the mid 20th centuries. From these it is possible to see when occupiers were at Roxton Park. Naturally, the dates below are not beginning and end dates of their stays but simply the first and last dates they are noted in directories: 

1854: Arthur Foulger;
1864-1885: Thomas Cranfield;
1890-1906: James Day;
1910-1940: Fred Bath

Roxton Park seen from the Congregational Church March 2010
Roxton Park seen from the Congregational Church March 2010