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26 and 26a Market Square Potton

26 and 26a Market Square February 2013
26 and 26a Market Square February 2013

26 and 26a 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 17th century “or earlier” with 20th century alterations. The property is timber-framed with colourwashed roughcast render applied externally and a 20th century tiled roof. It comprises two storeys.

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. Unfortunately the map accompanying the valuation description is not annotated with the page number in the notebook, as it should be. On the basis of surrounding numbers it seems likely that 26 and 26a Market Square were owned by O. H. Bartle and occupied as one premises by Henry Carter [DV1/C12/109] who is listed by Kelly’s Directory for Bedfordshire for 1928 simply as a shopkeeper.

Carter’s rent was “about £14” per annum for this “old property in poor condition”. His shop measured 14 feet 6 inches by 13 feet and also on the ground floor was a parlour measuring 12 feet by 13 feet, a living room measuring 10 feet by 9 feet and a kitchen. The first floor had a lumber room measuring 14 feet 6 inches by 10 feet 6 inches and three bedrooms measuring 12 feet by 14 feet, 10 feet 6 inches by 8 feet and 9 feet by 10 feet. Outside were a brick, wood and tiled barn with a loft over, a stable with a loft over sublet by the tenant to next door shopkeeper Thomas Harvey. The valuer summed up: “plaster – awful place”.

Henry Carter is listed in Kelly’s Directory for 1894 and 1898 as a fishmonger and for 1903, 1906 and 1910 as a fishmonger and fruiterer. He is then listed just as a shopkeeper in directories of 1920, 1924 and 1928. Mrs. Alice Carter is listed as a shopkeeper in directories of 1931, 1936 and 1940.