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2 Knolls View Totternhoe

2 Knolls View January 2010
2 Knolls View January 2010

Bradwell House, 2 Knolls View, is described thus by Bedfordshire Historic Environment Record [HER 15502]. "A 17th century building with a 19th century brick exterior and a tile roof. The house is of a lobby entry plan with a wide central stack built of Totternhoe Clunch. The house was resurfaced in red and yellow bricks in the 19th century when it was owned by the Ashridge Estate. A gabled porch is located on the front elevation and all the windows are 19th century casements. The left-hand bay of the two storey building is constructed from red brick and is a possible 19th century extension or re-working. A single storey extension has been added to the left-hand side of the property.

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). 2 Knolls View was then described as a cottage, yard, barn and garden owned by Miss Fossey and occupied by John Brittan. It stood in sixteen poles of land. A similar survey was carried out in 1840 and by that date Ann Fossey is given as the owner and Thomas Simmonds as the occupier. The 1841 census reveals him to be around forty years of age and an agricultural labourer. Living with him were his wife Sarah, about fifty, their child Martha, about ten and, presumably, Simmonds' mother-in-law Mary Pratt aged about ninety.

At some point Ann Fossey, or one of her successors must have sold out to the successor to the Duke of Bridgewater as owner of the estate, Earl Brownlow as it became part of the Ashridge Estate, as mentioned above. The Totternhoe portion of the Ashridge Estate was put up for sale by Lord of the Manor Earl Brownlow in 1916 [Z513/22]. Lot 24 was a: "Compact and Valuable Small Holding" comprising 3 acres, 2 roods, 36 poles, leased to Mrs. M. A. Smallbones at £19. 2 The Knolls is described thus: "The brick-built and tiled COTTAGE contains Three Rooms, Scullery and Dairy, and is situate at Lower End, Totternhoe, about half-a mile from Stanbridgeford Station. Water is obtained from a well. THE BUILDINGS consist of brick-built and tiled Stable for one, and weather-boarded on brick foundations and tiled cart Shed, Cowhouse for four; Chaff House and Hen House. There is also a Barn".

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 2 Knolls View [DV1/C105/4] found it owned and occupied by J. Starrs. The brick and tile property stood in just over an eighth of an acre and comprised a living room, kitchen and scullery downstairs with two bedrooms and a boxroom above. A brick and tile barn stood outside. It was, in the valuer's opinion "Very nice indeed" and a "Week-end type" of property. Starrs also owned a small piece of land adjoining which contained a brick, weather-boarded and tiled stable for two horses and cart shed, a brick and tile barn ("large"), a weather-boarded and corrugated iron hen house. W weather-boarded and felt hen house and a weather-boarded and tiled pig sty ("large").he also owned two grass fields of 1.955 and 1.433 acres respectively.