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April Cottages, 30 & 32 High Street

This page was contributed by Pamela Hider

April cottages 2

April Cottages c.1900s with Sarah Wallinger and daughter (Courtesy of Carlton & Chellington Historical Society)

The development of the village of Carlton began principally in the High Street which was nearest to both church and manor house and where most of the oldest houses are to be found today.

One such house, known today as April Cottages, is described by the Historic Environment Record for Bedfordshire as follows:

C17 house. Coursed limestone rubble. Thatched roof L-plan. Main 2-bay wing gable end to road. Lower one bay wing to rear facing roadway. Red brick chimney stack to E. W. and N. gable ends. One storey and attics. S. elevation: one dormer window at eaves level. Ground floor has two 3-light casement windows with glazing bars, central doorway. C20 extension to W. end.

In 1927, property in Carlton was valued under the Rating and Valuation Act 1925 (DV1/C218). Every piece of land and building in the country had to be valued to determine the rates to be paid upon it. At this time, April Cottages consisted of three dwellings (built one behind the other with gable end to the road) and were described as follows:

"1st of 3: Stone & Thatch,  Living Room, Kitchen, Scullery, upstairs 2 bedrooms. Barn. Earth Closet.  Comments - Sloping Bedrooms. Rather Poor". Another hand had written V.Poor  Bad Slope. The Occupier was A.W.Usher and the Owner was H.Wallinger.

"2nd of 3: Stone & Thatch, Living Room, Kitchen, upstairs 2 bedrooms. Barn. Comments - V.Poor". The Occupier was A.Wallinger and the Owner was H.Wallinger.

"Last of 3: Stone & Thatch, Living Room, Scullery, Upstairs 1 bedroom and small box room. Comments - V.Poor". The Occupier was R.Parriss and the Owner was H. Wallinger.

Over time, the three cottages became two (one is thought to have been demolished). A photograph taken in 1962 (Z53/25/9) when the 2 cottages were known as 'Twildo', is similar to how they looked in February 1978 when "proposed renovation of cottages 30/32 High Steet and subsequent sale of the properties" referred to "a Pair of 17th century cottages with part-thatch roofs. 2 properties offered as whole". (CA2/809). Perhaps it was at this time that the name change occurred.

Twildo 1962 Z53-25-9 

'Twildo' 1962 (Reference Z53/25/9)

Thus two became one, but is known as April Cottages 30/32 High St. 

April Cottage 2021

 April Cottages December 2021