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North End Farm Bletsoe

North End Farm September 2009
North End Farm September 2009

North End Farmhouse stands some way back from the road leading to Riseley. It was listed by the former Ministry of Public Buildings and Works in July 1964 as Grade II, of special interest. The farmhouse is, like Gilbert's Cottage just to the south, of 16th or 17th century origins, though with 19th alterations. The structure was extensively restored by the labour of prisoners-of-war during the Second World War [according to the Department of Environment].

The house is timber-framed, though this has partly been replaced by local brick, which has also been used as in-filling. The house is thatched. It is built in an L-shape and has one storey with bedrooms in the attics. The Department also noted: "Late 16th century stone fireplaces reputed to have come from Bletsoe Castle. Interestingly North End Farm was farmed together with Bletsoe Castle Farm by Charles Measures in the early 20th century, although the farmhouse was not included in his lease and was occupied separately.

A survey of the lands of Baron Saint John in Bletsoe in 1624 survives [WG10]. There are a number of houses with land mentioned, any one of which may by North End Farm. The tenants in question were: Thomas Maxey; Henrye Mylls; William Gates; Henry Beamonde and Thomas Darlinge.

The terms of the Rating and Valuation Act 1925 required every piece of land and building in the country to be valued to determine its rateable value. Most of Bedfordshire was valued in 1927. At that date North End Farmhouse [DV1/A12/15a-b] was occupied as two properties and did not include any of the farm land. The farmhouse was owned by Lord Saint John and the northern part was occupied by C. White who had a living room downstairs with two bedrooms above. The southern part was occupied by G. Cranfield who also had a living room with two bedrooms above.