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Poste Cottage - 5 Greenway Campton

Poste Cottage - 5 Greenway April 2015
Poste Cottage - 5 Greenway April 2015

Poste Cottage at 5 Greenway was listed by English Heritage in January 1985 as Grade II, of special interest. It dates from the 18th century and was possibly originally being a pair of cottages. It is constructed from colour-washed roughcast over a timber frame with a thatched roof. It has storey with attics. The ground floor gable end has an early 19th century bow window (formerly a shop). There is a 20th century extension projecting from the west gable end.

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 entry for this property notes that it had previously been a post office, consisting of house, shop, buildings and property. It was owned by Sir Algernon Osborn and occupied by Mary Ann Crawley. He recorded that it was made of roughcast and thatch. The ground floor consisted of a parlour, living room and scullery, and the upstairs had four bedrooms ("one small"). The valuer noted that the property had three dormers (protruding windows in the thatch) and that the shop and post office was in "very poor" condition. Outside the property was a shed, barn, hen house, two small barns and a large garden. The water was laid on and the valuer considered it to be a "poorish place" [DV1/C175/77].

Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years from the early to mid-19th century until 1940. The following people are recorded as having kept the post office in Campton:

  • 1853: Eleanor Hayes. The next few directories (1854, 1862, 2863, 1877) have no reference to a post office
  • 1885, 1890: Charles Brittain;
  • 1894, 1898, 1903: Mrs Susan Stanbridge;
  • 1906: Mrs Charles Dilley;
  • 1910, 1914, 1920: Mrs Edith Devereux;
  • 1924: Miss Alice Crawley.

By 1928 the post office had gone, mail coming through the post office in Shefford and Alice Crawley is recorded as a shopkeeper. By 1931 Mrs Mary Ann Crawley is given as shopkeeper, as she is in 1936. The last directory for the county, 1940, lists Mrs Alice Crawley.

A photograph taken around the turn of the 19th century shows the post office next door to the Wheatsheaf Beerhouse. This lay in Gravenhurst Road, Number 5 standing on the site today. Interestingly a post office is marked on an Ordnance Survey map of around 1970 and was, again, at the same location as seventy years earlier. A modern post box still stands outside 5 Gravenhurst Road.