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29 Church Street Shillington

29 Church Street July 2015
29 Church Street July 2015

29 Church Street used to be a bakery. 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 29 Church Street [DV1/C74/132] found it was owned and occupied by baker Ernest Arthur Ashton.

The property comprised two living rooms, a kitchen and three bedrooms. the bakehouse, which had a loft over, measured 12 feet by 13 feet and the oven was rated at six bushels; the valuer noted: "over 200 loaves"). Outside stood a wood and corrugated iron flour store, a wood and slate stable, another flour store, a cart shed, two piggeries, a garage, a barn, two loose boxes and a hovel. The property included nearly one acre of grass.

Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years from the early to mid-19th century until 1940. A number of members of the Ashton family appear as bakers at various times. The directory for 1854 lists a baker in Church Street as John Chambers and it seems possible that he operated from these premises. In the directories of 1862, 1864 and 1877 the baker in Church Street is listed as Charles Palmer.

The various members of the Ashton family listed as bakers are as follows:

  • 1864, 1877, 1885 and 1890: James Ashton;
  • 1877, 1885: Thomas Ashton;
  • 1885, 1890, 1894, 1898, 1903: William Ashton;
  • 1894: Arthur Ashton;
  • 1906, 1910, 1914: William James Ashton;
  • 1910, 1914: Alfred Ashton;
  • 1920: Mrs Alfred Ashton;
  • 1920, 1924, 1928, 1931, 1936, 1940: Ernest Arthur Ashton.