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2 Biggleswade Road Potton

2 Biggleswade Road and the Royal Oak August 2013
2 Biggleswade Road and the Royal Oak August 2013

2 Biggleswade Road stands next to the Royal Oak Public House and, like the pub, was listed by the former Ministry of Public Buildings and Works in 1966 as Grade II, of special interest. The cottage is constructed of colourwashed roughcast over a timber frame and has a thatched roof. It comprises one storey with attics. The original cottage had two rooms downstairs, the inhabitants sleeping in the attic.


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 the property, in 1927 [DV1/C9/38] found that it was owned and occupied by Albert Hardy. The cottage comprised a parlour, a living room and kitchen with two bedrooms and a box room upstairs. A coal shed and a W. C. (“new”) stood outside. The valuer commented: “Double-fronted. Very old. Upstairs all in roof”.

The outbuilding at 2 Biggleswade Road 2013
The outbuilding at 2 Biggleswade Road 2013

Behind the cottage were farm buildings, also owned and occupied by Albert Hardy. They comprised a loose box, a cart hovel, an open corrugated iron stand and a barn. The barn survives and appears to have been turned into living accommodation. On the wall facing Station Road is an old advertisement for G. W. Noble - "High Class Tailor" whose speciality seems to have been breeches and gaiters. Kelly's Directory for Bedfordshire for 1903, 1906, 1910 and 1914 list George William Noble as a tailor in Biggleswade Road and the 1910 rating valuation survey confirms that he was living at 2 Biggleswade Road at that time; the owners were the Whitbread family of Southill, lords of the manor.

Advertisement on the side of the outbuilding 2013
Advertisement on the side of the outbuilding 2013

The cottage was conveyed in 1917 by the Whitbread Estate to George Kitchener of Potton, machinist and farmer for £450, who then sold it to sub-purchaser William Huckle of Deepdale, marker gardener, who paid £550. It was described as a messuage or dwelling house with the outbuildings, yard, garden and appurtenances belonging, containing in the whole 2 roods 15 poles in the occupation of George William Noble [Z894/1]. Clearly William Huckle at some point between 1917 and 1927 sold the property to Albert Hardy.

The cottage was conveyed in 1951 from Vivian Paul Ellis, dental surgeon, to Freda Mary Haile of Dunstable for £1,850 [Z894/1]. The deed is endorsed with a note of a conveyance of part of the land forming the site of the cottage to Hunting Gate Homes Limited of South Letchworth [Hertfordshire] as part of the site of 6 The Ridgeway. More land was conveyed to the owners of that property in 1979.

2 Biggleswade Road February 2013
2 Biggleswade Road February 2013