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Bedford Estates Cottages in Bedford Street

The Dukes of Bedford built numerous estate cottages in the various parishes in which they owned land from the mid 19th century into the 20th century. There were a number of different types but all are instantly recognisable as Bedford Estates properties. Fittingly the highest number was built in Woburn. There are four blocks in Bedford Street – Numbers 23 to 27, Numbers 31 to 33, Numbers 36 and 37 and Numbers 38 to 45.

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 the various cottages discovered the following facts.

23 to 27 Bedford Street May 2012
23 to 27 Bedford Street May 2012

23 to 27 Bedford Street were built in 1850 and temamts and accommodation were described as follows:

  • Number 24: William White whose rent was 1/7 per week; living room, kitchen, three bedrooms; washhouse and W. C. outside;
  • Number 25: Walter Smith whose rent was 1/7 per week; living room, kitchen, three bedrooms; washhouse and W. C. outside;
  • Number 26: R. Brown whose rent was 1/7 per week; living room, kitchen, three bedrooms; washhouse and W. C. outside;
  • Number 27: Miss M. Impey whose rent was 1/1 per week; living room and kitchen combined, one bedroom; washhouse and W. C. outside.

31 to 33 Bedford Street May 2012
31 to 33 Bedford Street May 2012

31 to 33 Bedford Street were also built in 1850 and tenants and accommodation were described as follows:

  • Number 31: Louisa Hart whose rent was 2/6 per week; living room, kitchen, three bedrooms “porch and faces away from road”; washhouse and W. C. outside;
  • Number 32: Frank Wilson whose rent was 2/7 per week; living room, kitchen, three bedrooms; washhouse and W. C. outside;
  • Number 33: Cyril Burgess whose rent was 2/7 per week; living room, kitchen, three bedrooms; washhouse and W. C. outside; “closed in on south”.

36 and 37 Bedford Street May 2012
36 and 37 Bedford Street May 2012

36 and 37 Bedford Street were built in 1847. At the time of the valuation the two cottages were in one occupation, the valuer noting: “Looks like two Duke’s Cottages”. The occupier was Miss Annie Mann. She and her sister Rose were listed in Kelly’s Directory for 1928 as dress makers. The property comprised a reception room, another reception room used as a workroom, a living room, a kitchen, four bedrooms and a boxroom. Two washhouses, a barn, a workshop and a W. C. all stood outside. The valuer commented: “Big”. Directories were published every few years from 1823 until the last in 1940 and the Mann sisters are listed as dressmakers in those of 1910, 1914, 1920, 1924, 1928, 1931, 1936 and 1940. In the last directory they are listed as Annie and Rose Maydwell rather than Mann but this is likely to be a simple error.

38 to 45 Bedford Street May 2012
38 to 45 Bedford Street May 2012

38 to 45 Bedford Street were built in 1846. The tenants and accommodation were described in 1927 as follows:

  • Number 38: Thomas Flanders whose rent was “in wages” so he obviously worked for the duke; living room, kitchen, two bedrooms; washhouse and W. C. outside;
  • Number 39: W. Champkins whose rent was 2/6 per week; living room, kitchen, two bedrooms; washhouse and W. C. outside;
  • Number 40: Henry James Nursall whose rent was 2/6 per week; living room, kitchen, two bedrooms; washhouse and W. C. outside;
  • Number 41: H. Arthur whose rent was 2/9 per week; living room, kitchen, three bedrooms; washhouse and W. C. outside;
  • Number 42: A. Stanford whose rent was “in wages”; living room, kitchen, three bedrooms; washhouse and W. C. outside;
  • Number 43: William Todd whose rent was “in wages”; living room, kitchen, three bedrooms; washhouse and W. C. outside;
  • Number 44: Frank Lane whose rent was “in wages”; living room, kitchen, three bedrooms; washhouse and W. C. outside;
  • Number 45: James Pearson whose rent was “in wages”; living room, kitchen, three bedrooms; washhouse, coal shed and W. C. outside.