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20 Market Square Potton

20 Market Square August 2013
20 Market Square August 2013

20 Market Square was listed by the former Ministry of Public Buildings and Works in October 1966 as Grade II, of special interest. It dates from the 18th century, with alterations over the next two centuries. The property may date to 1783 or shortly thereafter as a number of properties in the Market square were damaged in the Great Fire of Potton in that year. The structure is constructed from dark red brick with lighter red brick facings and comprises two storeys and attics beneath a clay tiled roof.

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. The valuer visiting 20 Market Square [DV1/C12/81] found that it was owned by the greengrocer next door, Robert Day, and leased by George Frost. Kelly’s Directory for Bedfordshire for 1928 tells us that Frost and Clayton were butchers in the Market Square. Rent was £4/17/6 per quarter. Kelly’s Directory first lists George Frost as a butcher at this address in 1924 and lists him in the last directory for the county, that of 1940.

The shop measured 13 feet 6 inches by 18 feet. There was a store which measured 9 feet by 11 feet 6 inches and a cellar used as a box store. The valuer did not record what was upstairs. He commented: “Very poor place”.

The premises at the rear [DV1/C12/82] was owned by William Bond-Smith, the grocer at 22 and 23 Market Place, and leased to Arthur Badham for five shillings per week. It comprised a kitchen downstairs and three bedrooms above with three attics above them and a brick and tile barn outside. This description suggests that the property may have included the upstairs portion of Number 20 Market Square, unless the bedrooms were tiny; the valuer does not say, merely commenting: “Shocking place. Attics too big to use”.

The rear of 20 Market Square February 2013
The rear of 20 Market Square February 2013