7 Church Road April 2010
7 Church Road was listed by the former Department of Environment in May 1984 as Grade II, of special interest. The department dated the property to the 16th century with alterations in the 17th and 18th centuries. The cottage is timber framed, with colour washed plaster render, retaining a little pinhole pargetting in a herringbone pattern. It has a thatched roof, hipped to the south. The south bay is a later addition. The cottage was originally an open hall, like 21, 33 and 39 Church Road, with a ceiling inserted in the 17th century, resulting in a building with one-storey and attics building. A 20th century wing projects to the south-west, colour washed and with a thatched roof, planning permission having been given for this in 1988 [BorBTP/88/2343].
The cottage may have been built by a Lord of the Manor. From 1529 to 1731 the manor was owned by the Gostwick family, then the Dukes of Marlborough until 1779 when the manor was purchased by the Duke of Bedford. Alternatively the manorial estate may have bought the cottage at a later date.
In November 1903 then Lords of the Manor, George and James Keeble, put the Willington Manor Estate properties in the village up for sale by auction. The sale particulars [X403/3] listed 7 Church Road in Lot 41, which also included 5 Church Road, and which was described thus
Three Stud and Thatched Cottages
Numbers 29, 30 and 53, situate nearly opposite Willington Schools, with Gardens, being part of Number 29 on the Ordnance Survey Plan and containing
1 rood, 29 poles
To judge by the plan 7 Church Road was then divided into two and so would have been numbered 29 and 30 The Village.
The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every piece of land and building in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. Willington, like most of the county, was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting 7 Church Road, then 29 The Village, [DV1/C154/60] found it owned by Mark Young, who had had bought part of the old Willington Manor Estate in 1903, and occupied by H. Dawson who paid rent of 4/6 per week.
The cottage stood in a third of an acre. It comprised a living room, a parlour, a kitchen, a scullery and three bedrooms in the roof. The valuer noted: “Was 2 Cottages”.
In May 1948 Mark Young’s executors sold some of his property in Willington. 7 Church Road was Lot 23 and described [PK1/4/178] as:
LET AS ONE
Built of Brick, Plaster and thatch with good Garden
Situate at 29, CHURCH ROAD, WILLINGTON
In the occupation of Mr. H. Dawson, containing 4 Living Rooms and 3 Bedrooms, and Outside 2 Barns, Wash-house and 2 Earth Closets, producing a
Rent of £11:14:0 per annum
(the Landlord paying the Rates)
Water is obtained from a Well in the Garden.
The particulars are annotated to note that Dawson himself bought the cottage. He paid £200, reserve having been £100.