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42 Church Road Wootton

42 Church Road May 2010
42 Church Road May 2010

This cottage is older than might appear at first glance, and probably dates from the early 19th century or earlier. The fact that it comprises a single storey with attics, as evidenced by the dormer windows, is a sure sign of this.

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. Like most of the county, Wootton was largely assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting the cottage [DV1/C50/21-24] found that it was in four occupations, one of them in a part of the building extending the left hand side, since demolished. The owner was shoemaker, rating officer, parish clerk and postmaster Philip Hill, whose post office was at 9 and 11 Church Road.

The part of the structure since demolished was occupied by W. Ellis and comprised a living room with a bedroom above, for which he paid 6/6 per month, a rent set in 1922. The valuer commented, about the whole group – “Very poor places”. Next door, in the left hand portion of the current property, was C. Pateman who had a living room and two bedrooms above as well as a barn and earth closet outside. In the right hand portion of the current property bordering the road was J. Ellis who paid rent of £1/7/- per quarter for a living room and kitchen with two bedrooms above; again a barn and earth closet stood outside. It was “very poor” and had a bad slope in the attic affecting the bedrooms.

Perhaps the most interesting occupant was Doctor Clarke, who occupied the rear of the right hand portion of the current building. His rent, set in 1924, was £1/1/7 per quarter for a living room and a bedroom, again with the usual barn and earth closet. The valuer commented: “Used as a surgery 2 days a week” and a later hand has written: “By dentist!!”