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Pine Grove House and The Bakehouse Aspley Guise

Pine Grove House about 1900 [Z818/28]
Pine Grove House about 1900 [Z818/28]

Pine Grove Cottage is an earlier building than might at first be apparent. It probably dates to the 18th or early 19th century. In 1912 Charles Arthur Barnwell, baker, mortgaged the premises to Charles Matthew Featherstonhaugh of Woburn Sands [Buckinghamshire], rope manufacturer and Fanny Featherstonhaugh his wife for £400 [HN10/335/CAB1]. the house was the described as the "Dwellinghouse known as 'Pine Grove House', Aspley Guise, Beds with garden and piece of land adjoining of 1 rood 6 poles now in the occupation of Mrs. Crabbe and Mr. Harris. The morrtgage makes it clear that Charles Arthur had inherited the property from his late father Ralph Charles Barnwell by his will dated 6th August 1909.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed as to its rateable value. Aspley Guise was assessed in 1927. The valuer visiting 36 Bedford Road, Pinegrove House, noted that it was still owned and occupied by Charles Alfred Barnwell [DV1/C138/56]. Kelly's Directory for Bedfordshire for 1928 lists him as "baker, corn, flour, poultry and chicken food merchant".

The property comprised two living rooms, a kitchen, scullery and cellar beneath. Three bedrooms lay above. A timber and slate barn and w. c. stood outside. The property had mains water, drainage and gas laid on. The valuer commented: "Old, low roofed, dark".

Pine Grove - 38 Bedford Road - July 2010
Pine Grove - 38 Bedford Road - July 2010

Charles Barnwell also owned and occupied the adjoining bakehouse, which survives today [2010] as a residence. The property comprised a store room measuring 14 feet by 8 feet, the bakehouse itself measuring 17 feet by 13 feet and containing three ovens comprising five bushels capacity in all. There was also a coke house with a loft over and a brick and late open hovel. Two loose boxes each measuring 12 feet 6 inches by 9 feet were used as stores.

There was also an old railway coach parked at the premises and used as offices. This survived into the 1970s. The valuer discovered that the bakehouse had been built in 1912, he considered it "very, very good" and noted that it had a Werner Pfleiderer and Perkins oven. Clearly Barnwell's mortgage taken out in that year with Charles Featherstonhaugh was to help pay for its construction. The valuer commented: "Buildings and oven cost pre-war £500 nearly".

Until the 1990s the gable end facing the road was still in its natural brick and was emblazoned with the name of Charles Arthur Barnwell in large letters above the first floor door, which then had an external wooden staircase leading to ground level. Unfortunately the owners then painted the entire property yellow , blocked up the door (making it the window seen today) and pulled down the staircase. The property was later repainted by new owners in its present colour.

The Bakehouse Bedford Road July 2010
The Bakehouse Bedford Road July 2010