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Yew Tree Cottage Whipsnade

Yew Tree Cottages in 1915 [Z214/3]
Yew Tree Cottages in 1915 [Z214/3]

Yew Tree Cottage was listed by the former Department of Environment in September 1980 as Grade II, of special interest. It dates from the 17th century, though it is much modernised. It has a first floor of timber-framed construction with red brick nogging (infill between the beams) over a red brick ground floor. The cottage comprises two storeys beneath an old clay tiled roof. The rear wing dates from the 19th century.

In December 1915 the second auction of Pedley Settled Estates land took place at the direction of the executors of the late Arthur Macnamara. It included 2,050 acres in Eaton Bray, Whipsnade, Totternhoe, Studham and Caddington as well as the Hertfordshire parishes of Markyate and Flamstead. Lot 6 in the sale particulars [Z214/3] was a range of three “picturesque half-timbered tenements known as Yew Tree Cottages” each two rooms upstairs and two down. The site comprised 1 rood 23 poles. The tenants were Albert Bransom, H. Rixon and W. Tibbett whose rents totalled £13 per annum.

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 the cottage [DV1/C98/10] on 14th December 1926 found that it was owned by James Hain (tenant of Dell Farm) and divided into two. The southern part was occupied by W. C. Tibbett who paid rent of 2/3 per week. His accommodation comprised a living room and a scullery downstairs with two bedrooms above. A weather-boarded and tiled barn, which he shared with the tenant of the northern part, stood outside. The valuer commented: “Very nice but Farm”.

The northern part of the property was in still the occupation of Albert Bransom whose rent was 3/6 per week. Accommodation comprised a reception room, a kitchen and two sculleries. The valuer commented “Was two cottages door through now”. Upstairs were four bedrooms (“one very bad”). Two weather-boarded and tiled barns and an earth closet stood outside along with a tool shed (“neglect”).N there was also a brick and tiled pump house shared with W. C. Tibbett.

Yew Tree Cottage January 2009
Yew Tree Cottage January 2009