16 to 20 George Street Woburn
16 to 20 George Street March 2012
16 to 20 George Street was formerly at least partly occupied by an inn called the Cock until 1832. The inn was in existence by 1661. When 16 to 20 George Street were listed by the former Ministry of Works in January 1961 they dated the row to the early 18th century but stated that Number 16 was “probably a reworking of an earlier structure”. The houses are built of colourwashed brick and have 20th century tiled roofs. They comprise two storeys bordering George Street and one storey with attics at the rear bordering Duck Lane.
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 to 20 George Street (then two properties listed as 10 and 11 George Street) [DV1/C126/32 and 35] were, like most of Woburn, owned by the Duke of Bedford’s London and Devon Estates Company.
Number 10 George Street (now 16 George Street) was in the occupation of Charles Mathews whose rent, again, was “in wages”. He had a hall, a living room, a kitchen, a scullery and three bedrooms. The valuer commented: “No garden, on road”. Outside stood a barn, a W. C. and a store shed with a loft over. The house was gas lighted and had mains water. The valuer noted: “Double fronted” and “Big back addition”.
Number 11 (as it then was, now Numbers 18 and 20) was occupied by Charles George Barratt who worked for the duke because his rent was “in wages”. The valuer commented: “Right on road no garden adjoining”. Accommodation comprised a hall, three living rooms, a kitchen, two sculleries and a pantry on the ground floor, with a cellar underneath and seven bedrooms, a W. C. and a bathroom with hot and cold water above. Outside stood a lumber room, another W. C. and a washhouse. There was also a brick and slate tool shed, a barn, three stables each for two horses and a coachhouse. The valuer noted: “Gas throughout. Mains water. Mains drainage”. He also commented: “Was old coaching inn. Great deal of waste room inside”.
Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years. Charles George Barratt is listed as living at 11 George Street in directories of 1914, 1920, 1924, 1928, 1931, 1936 and, the last for the county, 1940. In the mid 1990s the properties were on a long term lease to the Bedford Arms Hotel [PCWoburn35/4].
The rear of 18 to 20 George Street March 2012