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Upton End Old Farmhouse Shillington

Upton End Old Farm April 2015
Upton End Old Farm April 2015

Upton End Old Farm was listed by the former Department of Environment in July 1975 as Grade II, of special interest. It dates from the 17th century and was extended in the 19th century. The building is timber framed and largely covered in colour-washed roughcast render. The 19th century block on the south side is built in colour-washed brick. The building has clay tile roofs and two storeys and was originally in an L-plan, the 19th century extension converted this into a T-plan.

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 four 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 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 Upton End Farm found that the house and 57 acres were in occupation of J Mott who paid rent of £130 per annum [DV1/H7/48]. The house containedtwo living rooms, a kitchen, a scullery, a dairy, a pantry, four bedrooms ("large"), two bedrooms ("small") and two dressing rooms. The homestead comprised: a brick and slate mixing house; a cowhouse for three beasts; a pump house ("shared by all tenants"); a wood and slate four bay hovel ("one bay as loose box"); a brick and slate stable for seven; a chaff house; a wood and slate barn with an asphalt floor; a wood and corrugated iron two bay hovel and loose box; a wood and slate granary; two wood and corrugated iron piggeries; a wood and slate four bay cart shed; a wood and slate piggery and six bay shelter and a weather-boarded and slated elevator shed

The council leased a number of smallholdings on the south side of the house as follows [DV1/C63/102-110]:

  • J Tingey for four guineas rent had a one bay of cart hovel, a five bay hovel ("two as loose box"), a yard and shelter and a barn;
  • R D and H Jepps for 18 shillings had a one bay of cart shed and two bays of another cart shed;
  • R Gilbert for twelve shillings had a one bay of cart shed and pigsty;
  • A Marshall for £12 had five acres of land, a one bay of cart shed, part of a thatched barn, two piggeries and a one bay hovel;
  • D Jenkins for six shillings had one bay of a cart hovel;
  • A O Elwes for £30/10 had 13 acres, one bay of a cart shed, part of a thatched barn, a cowhouse for four beasts, five piggeries and a three bay hovel;
  • J Fossey for six shillings had two piggeries;
  • R and H Jepps for six shillings had one bay of a cart hovel;
  • A vacant lot ("was Brooks") had part of a thatched barn, a two bay shed, and a stable for five horses – rent would be £1/16/-.