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16 Market Place Woburn

16 Market Place May 2012
16 Market Place May 2012

16 Market Place is really just a shop unit, the building behind being part of 17 Market Place. 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. Woburn, like much of the county was valued in 1927 and the valuer visiting 16 Market Place [DV1/C137/3] found that, like most of Woburn, the shop was owned by the Duke of Bedford’s London and Devon Estates Company.

The tenant was The Westminster Bank Limited which paid rent of £15 per annum for a main office measuring 12 feet by 11 feet and a spare office measuring 12 feet by 6 feet 3 inches. The valuer noted that these were “both front”. The bank rented no upstairs accommodation which seems to have been unused.

Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years from the early to mid 19th century until 1940. These reveal that the London and County Banking Company Limited was at Park Street in Woburn by 1864 and remained there until at least 1906. The Surrey, Kent and Sussex Banking Company was created in 1836 being renamed the London and County Bank in 1839. In 1849 it bought up Bedford’s Trapp, Halfhead and Company Bank. By 1875 it was the largest bank in Britain. In 1909 it merged with the London and Westminster Bank to form the London County and Westminster Bank which merged with the National Provincial Bank, becoming National Westminster Bank, in 1970.

The last directory to place the bank in Park Street is 1906. the next directory, 1910, has it at the Market Place premises where it stayed at least until the last directory for the county was published in 1940. At the time of writing [2013] the premises forms, with 15 Market Place, part of Caprioli tea room and delicatessen.