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20 to 25 High Street Souldrop

20 to 25 High Street April 2015
20 to 25 High Street April 2015

20 to 25 High Street are a row of estate cottages, built for the Duke of Bedford, when Lord of the Manor, in 1854. They are built in the usual red brick and mostly have modern tiled roofs. Each one comprises one storey with attics. They are not listed as they have been too much altered.

By 1922 the row formed part of the Colworth Estate, which was put up for sale by auction in that year. The sale particulars [Z1246/1] describe the row as a block of cottages on one rood, twenty-two poles of land: “The Building has been altered so that the six Cottages are now occupied as five. Three Cottages each contain three Bedrooms, Living Room, Scullery and Pantry, the remaining two contain two Bedrooms, Living Room, Scullery and Pantry. There are general Wash and Bake Houses, the latter being used jointly with Lot 16. Joint water supply with Lot 16 [14 to 19 High Street]. They are occupied as follows: (a) Mrs Mayes; (b), (c), (d) and (e) Estate Employees; (a) being a Weekly Tenancy and the others Service Tenancies”. The whole estate was withdrawn as not sold and offered again in 1924 [Z1323/1/4].

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 the row [DV1/C167/25-30] found they were all (like 14 to 19 High Street) owned by F A Barton. Each one was described as containing a kitchen, scullery and three bedrooms and were described as “very nice”. A barn and an earth closet stood outside each and the washhouse was still shared. The valuer commented: “Stand on road but very good. Rent absurd”. Those paying the absurd rents were (north to south)

  • W H Hunt, 4/6 per week (pre-Great war it had been 1/2);
  • H Smith, six shillings per week (pre-Great War it had been one shilling);
  • H Headland, six shillings per week;
  • S Elmer, 5/6 per week;
  • H Odell, 2/6 per week;
  • J Bettles, 4/6 per week.