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21 and 23 Tilsworth Road Stanbridge

21-23 Tilsworth Road hiding behind its hedges
21 and 23 Tilsworth Road hiding behind its hedges

Like a number of attractive properties in Stanbridge 21 and 23 Tilsworth Road, semi-detached dwellings in one structure, hide behind hedges; in the case of this building the hedges in question are that recent curse leylandii. Therefore one cannot readily appreciate that this structure is old; it was listed by the former Department of Environment as Grade II, of special interest, and is 17th century. The building is constructed of red brick and has a clay tile roof. It is a single storey with attics. 

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 ordered every piece of land and building in the country to be assessed to determine the rates to be paid on it. Stanbridge was assessed in 1927. The valuer visiting 21 and 23 Tilsworth Road [DV1/C97/86-88] noted that they were owned by the Misses Buckmaster. By far the larger dwelling was number 21 which was occupied by Dennis Charles Mead who had: "been here fifteen years rent was £20 when he came"; the property occupied 0.810 acres. The house comprised: two living rooms; a kitchen; a scullery; a bakehouse measuring 12 feet by 9 feet and 10 feet by 9 feet with a five bushel oven; a shop measuring 11 feet 6 inches by 11 feet and a store place measuring 9 feet by 6 feet 6 inches. Four bedrooms lay in the attics. A loft over the bakehouse measured 21 feet 6 inches by 9 feet. Outside stood: a weather boarded and corrugated iron henhouse; two open sheds; a weather boarded and slate pigsty; brick, wood and slate stable for two horses and an open trap shed and small barn. A small orchard stood in the grounds.

23 Tilsworth Road was occupied by Miss Horne and stood in 0.75 acres. It comprised a living room and kitchen downstairs with two bedrooms in the attics. A wood barn stood outside. The valuer noted: "very small, neglect".

Kelly's Directories slightly contradict the statement that Mead had been there since 1912, although he could have worked for one of the other Meads, or the directories may be wrong. They list Edwin Mead as shopkeeper in 1914 and 1920, Edward Charles Mead as shopkeeper in 1924 and 1928 and Dennis Charles as shopkeeper in 1931, 1936 and 1940. Interestingly, the following bakers are listed: William Clarke in 1894 and 1898; Leonard Charles Jones in 1910 and 1914; George Headey in 1920 and George Thomas Headey in 1924, 1928, 1931, 1936 and 1940. Headey was noted, in the Rating and Valuation survey in 1927 as occupying the windmill, which had been defunct for about thirty five years.