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20 Market Place Woburn

20 Market Place May 2012
20 Market Place May 2012

20 Market Place was listed by English Heritage “for group value” because of the position in which it stands. It is Grade II, of special interest. The house dates from the early 19th century and is built of mottled yellow brick at the front with the rear and sides of red brick. The ground floor at the front is faced with ashlar. The house comprises two storeys and attics beneath a slate roof. A single storey addition stands at the left hand gable end.

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 20 Market Place [DV1/C126/150] found that, like most of Woburn, it was owned by the Duke of Bedford’s London and Devon Estates Company. Part of the building was occupied as an annexe by 19 Market Place.

The tenant was Town Hall keeper William John Deacon whose rent was 2/6 per week. He had a living room and a kitchen on the ground floor with two bedrooms above and an attic above that. A washhouse and W. C. stood outside along with a small traphouse. He had gas lighting and mains water. The valuer commented: “Neglect attic”.

Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years from the early to mid 19th century until 1940. They reveal that Deacon was the Town Hall keeper from at least 1914 until at least 1940. Previous keepers include: Frederick Hopkins, listed in 1910; Francis Keen (also bill poster and town crier), listed in 1877, 1885, 1890, 1894, 1898, 1903 and 1906; John Smith listed in 1864 and 1869 and William Brewer listed in 1847 and 1854.