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Elizabeth Harvey Almshouses - 47 to 55 Biggleswade Road Upper Caldecote

Elizabeth Harvey Almshouses April 2007
Elizabeth Harvey Almshouses April 2007

The Bedfordshire Historic Environment Record [HER] contains information on the county’s historic buildings and landscapes and summaries of each entry can now be found online as part of the Heritage Gateway website. The entry for the Elizabeth Harvey Almshouses [HER 9256] are notes made on a site visit in June 1977. The five almshouses were built in 1876 from yellow gault clay bricks “with a reddish mottle in it” and stone dressings. The red clay tile roof has decorative bands of fish scale tiles. A plaque states:

Erected by Elizabeth Harvey AD1876
In memory of Edmund Harvey who died AD1870
And of Susan Harvey who died AD1866

Elizabeth was the daughter of Rev. James Harvey and Catherine, his wife. She was born in 1820. Susan was her younger sister and Edmund her younger brother, who lived at Caldecote. She was related to the Harveys of Ickwell Bury in that her father was the son of rev. Edmund Harvey (born 1740), third son of John Harvey III and, therefore, younger brother of John Harvey IV of Ickwell Bury. Her father was, thus a cousin of John Harvey V and she a contemporary of John Harvey VI (her elder by five years).

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. Upper Caldecote was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting the almshouses [DV1/C5/48-52] noted that, from west to east, the occupiers were Mrs. Dalton, Mrs. Jane Woodward (perhaps a relation of the Woodwards who ran the Royal Oak Beerhouse), Mrs. Nottingham (perhaps a relation of Joseph who ran the Sugar Loaf Berrhouse, then The Old Beerhouse, then the Rose and Crown Public House), Mrs. Scott and Mrs. Croot. Each one had a hall, living room and pantry with one bedroom above. An earth closet and common washhouse stood outside.