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Gable End Gable and Fir Tree Cottages Stagsden

Gable End Gable and Fir Tree Cottages December 2007
Gable End, Gable and Fir Tree Cottages December 2007

The properties Gable End Cottage, Gable Cottage and Fir Tree Cottage are numbers 61 to 65 High Street. They were listed as a block by Department of Environment who considered them to be 17th or 18th century in origin. They are constructed of colour-washed roughcast and have a thatched roof.

In 1926 this part of Bedfordshire was valued under the Rating Valuation Act of 1925; every piece of land and building was inspected to determine the rates to be paid upon it. The valuer visiting the cottages noted them on pages 36 to 40 of is notebook [DV1/C36/36-40] and they thus appear under those numbers on the plan (see bottom of the page, click on the thumbnail for a larger image). All were owned by A.J.Whitmee. 36 was occupied by S.J.Myers and the valuer noted: "Condemned. No rent allowed. Dreadful". 37 was occupied by George Bird and again the valuer noted: "Condemned. No rent allowed. Dreadful". 38 was occupied by G.Ellis and again, the refrain: "Condemned no rent allowed. Dreadful".

39 was occupied by Mrs.O.Ellis. The valuer noted that it was of plaster and thatch construction "in a row"; it contained a living room and kitchen, one bedroom above and an earth closet and barn outside. The valuer commented: "Impossible to measure. Awful places. V.Poor". 40 was occupied by F.Harrison junior, was again of plaster and thatch and stood at the end of the row, comprising a living room and kitchen downstairs, one bedroom above and an earth closet and barn outside. The valuer repeated: "Impossible to measure. Awful place".

The shape of the properties numbered 36 to 40 in the valuation notebook is very different to today. It seems reasonable to assume that those in the northern part of the row were demolished as they had been condemned. This leaves 39 and 40 as being the basis of the modern cottages, although, again from the outline, it seems clear that these have been added to, making them more suitable modern dwellings.

Valuers map showing area around the school