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146 Castle Hill Road Totternhoe

146 Castle Hill Road - Middle End Cottage February 2010
146 Castle Hill Road - Middle End Cottage February 2010

146 Castle Hill Road, with its neighbour Number 148, stands out as an older building in a part of Totternhoe almost entirely filled with late 20th century housing. In 1829, following the death of the Earl of Bridgewater, his estate in Totternhoe was surveyed [BW1004]. The survey also included every building in the parish, whether owned by the estate or not (and at that date most were not). 146 Castle Hill Road was then in existence and listed as a cottage, yard, garden and orchard, owned by the Countess of Bridgewater. Unlike the situation in 1916 [see below] it was not then part of Poplar Farm, as that was owned by someone else.

A similar survey was carried out in 1840 and by that date the house was occupied by John Hunt. The 1841 census reveals that Holt was aged about 50 and an agricultural labourer, living with his wife Elizabeth, aged about 45, and their children Maria, about 15 and Sarah, 11.

Earl Brownlow's Totternhoe Estate was put up for sale by auction in 1916 [Z513/22]. 146 Castle Hill Road was part of Poplar or Middle End Farm, leased by Charles Wood though the cottage itself was "in hand". The description of the farm states: "on the opposite side of the road is a detached brick-built and tiled COTTAGE containing Three Rooms and Pantry and having Garden".

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every piece of land and property in the country should be valued to determine its rateable value. Totternhoe, like much of Bedfordshire, was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting 146 Castle Hill Road [DV1/C105/30] found that the owner and occupier was P. G. Mead, it seems likely that he was the buyer in 1916. The brick and slate dwelling comprised a living room, kitchen, scullery and pantry downstairs with three bedrooms above. The valuer commented: "good".