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35 Well Head Road Totternhoe

35 Well Head Road January 2010
35 Well Head Road January 2010

35 Well Head Road is not a listed building but is, nevertheless, of some age. The Bedfordshire Historic Environment Record [HER 6505]reads: "18th century or earlier, extensively altered. Roughcast with 18th century brickwork visible to eastern elevation. Two storey, clay tile roof. Modern casement windows. Projecting chimney stack to south elevation".

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). At that date 35 Well Head Road was two cottages, owned by Daniel Twidell and occupied by J. King and Stephen Hutchen [sic], standing in fourteen poles of land.

A similar survey was carried out in 1840 and by that date the structure was still owned by Daniel Twidell, but occupied by "G. Wells and another". The 1841 census reveals that "the other" was still Stephen Hutchins. He was about 50, an agricultural labourer and living with his wife Sarah, about 45, and their children Samuel, about 20 and also an agricultural labourer; William, 10, a straw plaiter, David, 9, another straw plaiter and Rachael, 5. Living with them were Jesse Field, about 20 and an agricultural labourer and Mary Field, about 15, a straw plaiter. George Wells was next door, he was about 30 and another agricultural labourer. He lived with his wife Mary, also about 30 and Sarah Horwood, about 20, a straw plaiter.

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 35 Well Head Road found it was owned by A. Twidell and occupied by F. Philpot who paid £15 per annum rent for the house and a field of a third of an acre. The brick and thatched property comprised a living room, kitchen and scullery downstairs with three bedrooms above. The valuer commented: "Not so bad as first appears".