Lodge Farmhouse May 2011
Lodge Farmhouse is a splendid example of its type and lies at the bottom of the High Street opposite Dean House. It was listed by the former Department of Environment in August 1983 as Grade II, of special interest. The department dated the property to about 1600. It is built of colour-washed roughcast over a timber frame with brick facing to the east end and has an old clay tile roof. It is built in a T-plan and has two storeys. A 19th century red brick single storey extension with a pantiled roof lies to the rear.
The farmhouse once formed part of Upper Dean Farm. A note in a Saint John family rental states that the farm was divided in 1819 [SJ489]. It was put up for sale by auction in 1832. The farm then comprised 135 acres of arable and pasture in the occupation of a Mr. Bliss, who lived at Lodge Farmhouse, and a further 111 acres, 2 roods of arable and pasture in Lower Dean occupied by a Mr. Hollis, who also leased a farmhouse and several cottages and gardens.
The “genteel” farmhouse is described as follows: “Five Bedrooms, papered, with Closets, Dressing Room, Three Servants’ Bedrooms, Dining and drawing Rooms, handsomely papered and fitted up with marble Chimney Pieces, Morning Parlor [sic], Hall, Kitchen, Scullery, Dairy, Cheese-Room, cellar, Brewhouse, &c. well supplied with excellent water, Flower Garden in Front, enclosed from the road by a palisade fence, Coach House, two Nag Stables, farm Stable, a large Corn Barn, two Others, granary, Dove-house, cart and Cattle Lodges, Pigeries [sic], Cowhouse, and other Farm Buildings, a Labourer’s Cottage and Barn, Kitchen Garden, Orchard, and several handsome Inclosures of capital Pasture and Arable Land”.
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. The valuer visiting Lodge Farmhouse, then still part of Upper Dean Farm [DV1/H52/12] did so in the afternoon of 31st December 1926. He found the farm owned by Fitzgerald Verity Dalton, J. P., of Dean House opposite, and occupied by Hubert Edgar Horsford who paid rent of £170 per annum, fixed in 1916, for the house, farm buildings and 199 acres of land, an increase of three acres since 1914. Horsford’s entry in Kelly’s Directory for Bedfordshire for 1928 describes him as: “farmer, clerk to the parish council & rate & tax collector for Dean”.
The valuer noted: “Saw Mr. Horsford, said he had to maintain the road by the Farm”. Another had, presumably visiting later noted: “Saw Mr. Horsford. Bad approach. Decent land. Very old House. Good House and Homestead. Homestead not in good repair”. The house comprised two reception rooms, a kitchen, a scullery, a dining room and two cellars with five bedrooms upstairs. A coal house and a food store stood outside along with an earth closet. Water came from a pump in the yard.
The homestead comprised four blocks as follows:
- The west block: two brick and tiled pigsties; two loose boxes; two pig sties; a two bay open shed;
- The north block: a brick and tiled open shed and a loose box;
- The east block: a brick and slated barn with a cement floor; a brick and tiled chaff house; a three bay open shed; a loose box; a cow house for five beasts at the end of the rick yard; a brick and tiled three bay open trap shed; a brick, wooden and tiled five bay cart shed;
- The centre block: a brick and slate nag stable for three beasts; a stable for five horses; a chaff house and harness room; a brick and slate food store and granary with a loft over and a garage.
In a nearby field stood a brick and tiled sheep shed.
Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has two applications for planning permission dating from the 1980s. In 1986 permission was sought for the erection of three detached dwellings and conversion of farm buildings into three dwellings [BorBTP/86/169] and in 1988 a further application was made to convert farm buildings into dwellings [BorBTP/88/2843/LB].
Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has a number of directories for the county dating from 1839 to 1940. These give some details of names and addresses of prominent people in each parish. The following list has been compiled for Lodge Farm. County directories were only published every few years and so the dates in the list simply include the first and last reference to a particular individual residing at a property.
- 1869-1914: James Alfred Horsford
- 1920-1940: Hubert Edgar Horsford.