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Clifton Cottage

Clifton Cottage August 2009
Clifton Cottage August 2009

Clifton Cottage stands in Church Street, immediately north-east of Holly Cottage. It is quite an imposing pale pink rendered property almost directly on the road. Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service is fortunate to have early deeds to Clifton Cottage, deposited in 1976 [X524].

The earliest deed, dated 1638 [X524/1], is a conveyance of a cottage and an adjoining acre of land by Arthur Henstocke of Clifton, cordwainer (shoemaker) to the Rector, Isaac Bedford. The cottage is described as being occupied by Henstocke and with a house of Frauncis Haus, widow, north-east, a close of Margaret Chambers, widow, south-west, the common street south-east and a "common lane leading to the church of Clifton" north-west. The latter reference suggests a footpath running on as a continuation of Pedley Lane, north-east to the church. Isaac Bedford died in 1662 but the year before his death he conveyed the cottage, now occupied by William Suresbye, to his second son, Samuel [X524/3]. Soon after the death of their father Samuel conveyed the cottage and its acre of land to William Buckby of InnerTemple, London for £120 [X524/4-5].

There is then a gap in the deeds until 1791 when George Edwards of Henlow [who also owned Clifton Grange] conveyed the cottage and its adjoining acre to George Neale of Old Warden for £100 [X524/6]. The deed notes that Edwards' father, also George, purchased the cottage from Thomas Medlycott, George Hill and his wife Ann Barbara and John Hill and his wife, Elizabeth - the two women being daughters of Ann, late wife of Thomas Medlycott, Ann having been the only daughter of Richard Buckby, son of William Buckby.

The next record of Clifton Cottage is not until The Rating and Valuation Act 1925, which specified [Section 19 (1)] that every piece of land and property in the country be valued to determine the rateable value. Clifton, like most of Bedfordshire, was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting Clifton Cottage [DV1/C207/123] noted that the owner and occupier was W. J. Sinclair. The cottage stood in 1.241 acres.

The roughcast and slate building comprised two reception rooms, a kitchen, hall and scullery downstairs with four bedrooms, a dressing room and a bathroom upstairs. The valuer noted that there was a verandah passage at the back and that the rear comprised two bays up and down, the front just one. He also noted that the building had once been several cottages but was now just one.

A roughcast and slate garage stood outside along with a store house attached to the cottage/ the large garden included a tennis lawn. The valuer commented: "Very nice place. Old House added to - cream roughcast".