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Marsh Cottage

This page was written by Pam Hider 

 29 Marsh HER 1974

Marsh Cottage, 1974 (Courtesy of HER)

The Historic Environment for Bedfordshire describes Marsh Cottage as follows:

C18 and C19. Mainly coursed rubble with s end reconstructed C19 in brick. All colourwashed. 2 storey. Slated double pitched gable roof. 2 casement windows, RH one with glazing bars. Ground floor LH casement with very small panes, RH modern casement under cambered head.     

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. The owner and occupier of Marsh Cottage at this time was Mrs.E.Skevington and the cottage was described as follows:

Brick & Slate, Detached, Living Room, Kitchen (another hand has written 'kitchen with copper and sink') and upstairs 3 bedrooms. Barn and Earth Closet.  + Bedroom over Barn 15x12;  + Large Coach House as Barn and loft over part.     Poor.   

Marsh Cottage is one of the three houses nearest Marsh Farm today, which were likely to have once been part of the farm estate, as on the 1806 enclosure map they appear very small (possibly to house farmworkers) yet on the 1926 valuation map are seen to be bigger and have very large outbuildings such as barns and even, in this case, a coach house, as well as other farm buildings. During the course of the 20th century,more conversion and extension has taken place.

The Skevingtons of Carlton 

Our records show that the name Skevington has been known in nearby Turvey for at least 500 years. In the 19th century, one Skevington couple migrated with their family to Carlton and the early censuses found them living in the High Street. Christening records exist for at least 10 of their children. One of their grandchildren was Thomas Edward Skevington (born 1855) who married Emily Goodman from Odell in 1891 and Emily was the Mrs.E.Skevington who owned and occupied Marsh Cottage in 1927.

Thomas Edward and Emily had four children and the family was to be found on the 1901 census living at Marsh Cottage. They had probably been there since shortly after 1891 as their first child was born at the end of that year. By the time of the next census in 1911, big changes were afoot as Lord Lucas was in the process of selling his estates in Carlton, Harrold & Turvey to Bedfordshire County Council and the land was split up into Council smallholdings, one of those being Marsh Farm. It is most likely that the ensuing upheaval may have been the reason why the family were found at the other end of The Marsh in Glenmore Cottage at the 1911 census. Thomas Edward died in 1918.

Records after this (electoral rolls) place Emily and her two younger children (sons) in the Marsh, but no specific address is stated, so we don't know when she returned to Marsh Cottage. We do know that two sons remained with her until 1926 and one son (Charles) remained with her at Marsh Cottage until his marriage in 1930, so it would seem that after the hiatus, the family had returned to their former home. There are no more records for Emily after this time and she died in 1942.

Charles Skevington b.1897

Charles had been a Private in the Bedford Regiment during WWI. He married Florence Wright in 1930 and they lived for a short while with Emily at Marsh Cottage before setting up home at Carlton Green cottages in the High Street. Records are scanty after this, but we know that by 1945, Charles and Florence were back at Marsh Cottage where they lived for the rest of their lives. Charles died in 1983 and Florence died in 1984. Their memorial stone is in Carlton Baptist Churchyard

Charles was Carlton's postman and Superintendent of Carlton Baptist Church and also became a Registrar, when uniquely, his home, Marsh Cottage, became a rural outpost for the Register Office. He held this post from the late 1920s into the 1930s with a break during WW2, and then from 1948 until he retired in the 1960s. Thereafter, an official from the Bedford office came out to Marsh Cottage twice per month. Charles is listed as Registrar in Kelly's Trade Directories of 1928, 1931 and 1940.

 29 Marsh Register Office 1974

 Register Office at Marsh Cottage, 1974 (Courtesy of HER)


Marsh Cottage 2022 (002)

Marsh Cottage, 2022