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Bedford Estates Cottages in Church Road Willington

Willington has three blocks of Bedford Estate cottages. This is a total of nine separate homes. They can all be found in Church Road. To judge by the outline on 25 inches to the mile Ordnance Survey maps of the 1880s and 1901 there used to be a fourth block of six homes where the modern 44 to 50 Church Road stand today. The Duke of Bedford acquired his Willington Estate in 1779 and sold it off in the early years of the 20th century.

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. Willington, like most of the county, was valued in 1927 and the findings of the valuer visiting the Bedford Estate properties

36 to 42 Church Road January 2012
36 to 42 Church Road January 2012

36 to 42 Church Road

This block of four homes is one of the standard Bedford Estates designs and was built in 1849. It is unusual in being built in yellow brick with red brick dressings rather than in red brick throughout. The roofs are composed of clay tiles. The block was owned by J. Bartram. Each home had a living room and a kitchen downstairs. Other details were as follows [DV1/C154/22-25]:

  • 36 – 15 the Village – William Purser paid rent of eighteen shillings per month. He had three bedrooms.
  • 38 – 14 The Village – Mrs. Larkins paid rent of fifteen shillings per month. She had two bedrooms and a porch.
  • 40 – 13 The Village – E. Bartram paid rent of fifteen shillings per month. She had two bedrooms and a porch.
  • 42 – 12 The Village – Mrs. Spavins paid rent of 18/6 per month. She had a parlour in addition to the living room and kitchen and had three bedrooms upstairs. She had a porch outside.

A Block, now demolished, on the site of 44 to 50 Church Road.

This block contained six homes and was presumably built in the 1840s or 1850s. This block was owned by Mark Young who had bought a considerable number of former Duke of Bedford owned properties in the village. Individual details were as follows [DV1/C154/16-21].

  • 6 The Village – F. Little paid 12/6 per month in rent for a living room, a kitchen and three bedrooms.
  • 7 The Village – F. Endersby paid 10/10 per month in rent for a parlour, a living room and two bedrooms with a brick and tiled barn outside.
  • 8 The Village – G. Martin paid rent of 10/10 per month for a parlour, a kitchen and two bedrooms.
  • 9 The Village – J. Faulkner paid 10/10 per month for a parlour, a kitchen and two bedrooms.
  • 10 The Village – C. Spavins paid rent of 2/6 per week for a parlour, a kitchen and two bedrooms.
  • 11 The Village – F. Martin paid rent of 12/6 per month for a parlour, a living room and three bedrooms.

52 to 58 Church Road January 2012
52 to 58 Church Road January 2012

52 to 58 Church Road

This block of four homes was also owned by Mark Young and was built in 1857. It is similar to 36 to 42 in that it is built of yellow brick though the red dressings are only applied to Numbers 52 and 54. Again the roofs are of clay tiles. Individual details are as follows [DV1/C154/12-15]. Each home contained a parlour and a living room on the ground floor and a brick and tiled barn outside. Each occupant shared a communal washhouse. Other individual details were as follows:

  • 36 – then 5 The Village – T. Ray paid rent of 11/8 per month. He had two bedrooms;
  • 38 – then 4 The Village – S. W. Newell paid ten shillings rent per month. He had two bedrooms.
  • 40 – then 3 The Village – J. F. Carrol paid rent of ten shillings per month. He had two bedrooms.
  • 42 – then 2 The Village – C. Mayes paid 11/8 per month in rent. He had three bedrooms.

It is interesting to note that these rents are much higher than those paid by tenants in identical houses in Husborne Crawley. The difference was that those in Crawley were still owned by the Duke of Bedford who obviously subsidised the rent to some extent.

70 and 72 Church Road January 2012
70 and 72 Church Road January 2012

70 and 72 Church Road

This pair of cottages was owned by G. Preston and were built in 1890. They are built in red brick and have clay tiled roofs, some of it in a fish scale pattern. Each home comprised a parlour, a kitchen, a pantry and a washhouse with three bedrooms above. A barn stood outside and there was a porch at back and front. The valuer commented: "Nice red brick cottages, rents 12 years old".  Individual details were as follows:

  • 70 – E. lack paid rent of £3/10/- per quarter.
  • 72 – then 52 The Village – B. Bygrave paid rent of £3/6/3 per quarter.