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2 Hockliffe Road Tebworth

2 Hockliffe Road November 2014
2 Hockliffe Road November 2014

2 Hockliffe Road is a 19th century cottage built of yellow brick with red brick dressings and comprising two storeys beneath a Welsh Slate roof. It is today called Forge Cottage. In 1909 Liberal Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George, brought out a pioneering budget which can be seen as foreshadowing the welfare state in that it introduced old age pensions. To pay for this and other facets of the budget Lloyd George decided that he needed an overhaul of rates and to do this he needed a complete survey of all buildings and land in the country to determine new rateable values, to be undertaken in the year following the budget. Surprisingly this was the first nationwide survey of property since the Domesday Book of 1086 and so came to be known as the 1910 Domesday Survey.

The surveyor visiting Tebworth [DBV2/4] found that the property was owned by Levi Dudley of Hockliffe and occupied by George Ludgate. It was described as a house and smithy. Whilst Ludgate lived in the house it seems as if the smithy was used separately. Kelly's Directory for 1910 records that the smith in Tebworth was William Squires who: "attends every Wednesday". Directories were only published every few years for Bedfordshire, the first to mention William Squires is 1903 and the last is 1928 after which no smith is mentioned.

Kelly's Directory for 1898 gives the blacksmith, seemingly resident, as Joseph Bing. He is also listed in 1894. In 1890 the blacksmith is listed as Ernest Tompkins. In 1864, 1877 and 1885 James and John Tompkins are both listed as blacksmiths but only James in 1862. In 1854 William Tompkins is listed as blacksmith and James Tompkins and blacksmith and beer retailer, William alone is listed in 1853 and in the first directory which includes Chalgrave, 1847, William is listed as blacksmith and James as a beer shop proprietor in Wingfield.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 once again required every building and piece of land in the country to be assessed as to its rateable value. The valuer visiting Tebworth [DV1/C15/114-115] found that 2 Hockliffe Road and its smithy were now owned by S. Mooring. The smithy was rented for 2/6 per half year, the valuer noted: "Could not get in, estimated size" and "Tenant [our friend William Squires] only here 3 days a week. Only one in village".

The house was still occupied by George Ludgate whose rent was for shillings per month. It comprised a reception room and a living room downstairs with four bedrooms above. There was also a basement washhouse and cellar. A brick and slate earth closet stood outside. In 1942 Bedfordshire County Council took over ownership of the smithy [DV1/X356].