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Clawders Hill Farm Shillington

Clawders Hill Farmhouse 1982 [Z50/103/6]
Clawders Hill Farmhouse 1982 [Z50/103/6]

Clawders Hill Farmhouse was listed by the former Department of Environment in July 1975 as Grade II, of special interest. The house dates from the 16th century and is, thus, one of the oldest secular buildings in the parish. It is a substantial, close-studded timber-framed structure largely rendered in colour-washed roughcast except the first floor of the western cross-wing which is hung with tiles. The building is tiled and comprises a hall and cross-wings. The hall has one storey with attics and the cross-wings two storeys. The north side of the west cross-wing has a jettied first floor – that is, it overhangs the ground floor. There are single storey out buildings to west and east. A detailed survey of the building was carried out in 1979 and the results written up, with plans and elevations, by J M Bailey in Bedfordshire Archaeological Journal Volume 14 pages 84 to 90

The Wilshere family owned the farm and a number of other properties in the area. Bedfordshire and Luton Archive and Record Service has numerous deeds belonging to the family [H/WS]. These show that they had two farms at Upton End. One of these was acquired at some time between 1788 and 1795 [H/WS1-113], and the other was bought about 1803 [H/WS114-268]. It seems likely that one of these was Upton End Farm and the other Clawders Hill Farm. The two farms were sold by E E M Wilshere to Bedfordshire County Council in 1920 [SH153/4].The house was then divided into two and the farm split up into smallholdings. 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. The valuer visiting the farm [DV1/H7/50-52] found the two tenants were W H Elms and R F Jepps.

W H Elms paid rent of £35 per annum for 11 acres. His part of the farmhouse comprised a parlour, a living room, a kitchen and three bedrooms. His homestead contained a weather-boarded 2½ bay hovel, two weather-boarded and thatched loose boxes, a stable for four horses and barn and a weather-boarded and slated two bay cart hovel

R F Jepps paid rent of £93/17/- for 48 acres. His part of the house comprised a living room, a kitchen, a passage way, two bedrooms and a washhouse. The homestead included a weather-boarded and slated granary, a piggery, two loose boxes, three more piggeries, a barn, a 2½ bay open hovel, a weather-boarded stable for four horses, a weather-boarded and slated two bay cart hovel "at back", a weather-boarded and corrugated iron  loose box, a two bay hovel and three piggeries.