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Kerry Thatch - 16 The Green Bromham

Kerry Thatch in 1962 [Z53/21/13]
Kerry Thatch in 1962 [Z53/21/13]

Kerry Thatch was listed by English Heritage in August 1987 as Grade II, of special interest. It dates from the 17th or 18th century and is a timber-framed construction overlaid with plaster and has a thatched roof. The listing notes: “Probably originates as a two or three room cottage with a central back-to-back hearth, extended in 18th or 19th centuries with one room added at each end. The cottage comprises one storey and attics.

The cottage formed part of the Bromham Hall Estate and was due to be put up for sale by auction along with a large slice fo the rest of the estate in 1924. The sale particulars [AD1147/4], however, are stamped: "Temporarily withdrawn from sale" presumably because the estate was in private negotiations with Benjamin Howkins of Molivers Farm. On 19th February 1927 Molivers Farm was itself put up for sale by auction and included Kerry Thatch. the sale particulars, identical to 1924, were as follows [AD1147/3]:

LOT 11

Situate in the Parish and Village of Bromham

Each contains Two Bedrooms upstairs and Two Rooms and Pantry downstairs. Outside are wash-house, Shed and E. C. to each. Good Gardens. The Total Acreage being.

.397 of an acre

One is let to Mr. W. Seamarks, on a Quarterly Tenancy, at a Rental of £5 per annum, and the other was let to Mr. B. Howkins, on a Quarterly Tenancy, at a Rental of £5 per annum, and is sold subject to the rights, if any, of the occupier.

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 Kerry Thatch describes it [DV1/C3/80-81] as being owned by J. Buckby. This is curious, as the whole of Molivers Farm, including Kerry Thatch, was again offered for sale by auction on 20th October 1928 [Z1323/1/8] and other evidence is that none of it had sold at the first auction. This suggests either that Buckby was a tenant of the farm and that Seamarks and White were sub-tenants or that the valuer simply made a mistake. The deeds, not held by Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records service, would no doubt clear up this mystery.

The rents for each half of the property were now £5/10/- per annum each but the additional 10/- is probably accounted for by the fact that water had to be fetched from a private pump on The Green for which each household accessing the water paid a fee of ten shillings. The valuer characterised the property as a “poor old place” and “Really bungalows with rooms in roof”. Another, probably later, hand has noted, somewhat contradicting the first appraisal: “Excellent thatch”.

Kerry Thatch - 16 The Green March 2012
Kerry Thatch - 16 The Green March 2012