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Brook House 25 Addington Road Great Barford

Brook House March 2010
Brook House March 2010

Brook House was listed by the former Department of Environment in August 1983 as Grade II, of special interest. The department dated the building to the mid 19th century. It is constructed of yellow gault clay brick with a colourwashed stucco front and a slate roof. It is built in an L-shape and was two storeys.

The house, with some adjoining land and property at Roxton and Keysoe, was put up for sale in 1886 [WG2582] by the trustees of the will of John Jefferies, deceased. The sale particulars read as follows:

Planted with choice Fruit Trees, standard and other Roses, and Ornamental Shrubs, &c.

A Pightle together with Coach-Houses and Capital Stabling
the whole covering an area of
1 acre 1 rood 24 poles
(more or less) as per the following schedule

Which is built of white brick and slated, contains a noble Entrance Hall, well-arranged staircase, Drawing-room and Dining-room, each having 2 Windows and inside shutters, marble mantel, moulded cornices and centre pieces, Breakfast-room fitted with range and boiler and plate-rack over, large cupboard in recess, back Hall with 2 side entrance doors, Pantry fitted with shelves, dresser and drawers, Kitchen fitted with small range, corner cupboard, lead pump, &c., back stair-case ascending from kitchen, Dairy fitted with shelves and dresser, lavatory and w. c., most conveniently situated at top of front stairs, 2 front Bedrooms with marble mantels, and 2 others fitted with Wardrobes, Boxroom, &c.

THE OUTSIDE PREMISES comprise Knife-house, Coal Barn, and w. c.

THE OUTBUILDINGS consist of Coach-house and Saddle-room, with asphalte [sic] floors, brewing copper, open shed and w. c., stabling adjoining for 3 Horses, poultry house &c.

IN PIGHTLE. A range of brick and timber-built and slated Buildings, comprising 2 Barns with asphalte floors, Stabling for 2 horses, Coach-house, open hovel and large loft over the whole, bounded by property belonging to Mr. E. Marshall, and the two following lots [a small paddock of 3 roods, 6 poles and two cottages and gardens].

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. Most of Bedfordshire was valued in 1927 and the valuer visiting Brook House found it owned and occupied by Thomas Hugh Wade Gery. He was first listed at the address by Kelly's Directory for the county in 1924, the previous Kelly's, for 1920, having listed the Misses Wade Gery. In 1903 the Misses Eagles were in occupation and in 1898 Edward John eagles. Wade Gery is last listed at the address in 1936, Horace Richard Neate, J. P., being in residence by the time of the last Kelly's for the county in 1940.

The valuer noted that Brook House stood in 1.370 acres and noted that in 1923, presumably when Thomas Hugh bought the property, it had been worth £1,350. The morning room measured 15 feet by 15 feet 6 inches and the hall 8 feet by 21 feet. A passage led to the kitchen which measured 16 feet by 14 feet and was "Light and airy". It had gas laid on and an "Independent Boiler". The scullery measured 10 feet by 12 feet 6 inches and contained a copper for heating water and a sink. There was also a pantry ("Light, north aspect, stone floor") and a cloakroom with lavatory basin, with hot and cold water, and a w. c.

The dining room measured 14 feet by 16 feet, with a recess and had an anthracite stove for heating. A bathroom contained a porcelain enamelled bath and a lavatory basin, both with hot and cold water laid on.

The two principal bedrooms lay upstairs over the morning and drawing rooms and, presumably, shared their dimensions. Another bedroom measured 12 feet by 18 feet  and a single bedroom measured 12 feet square. A w. c. also lay upstairs along with a tank room and a linen room with heated cupboards. The valuer commented: "Attractive property. Acetylene gas central heating. Grounds too small".

In the small grounds lay nag stabling, two stables used as stores, a garage, heated from a greenhouse, a wood shelter, a small tool room, a central heating pit with an Ideal Boiler, another with a Loughborough Boiler, an outside w. c., a saddle room or coach house, a small kitchen garden, the acetylene gas plant, a petrol plant and a greenhouse measuring 11 feet square. A barn comprised a wood barn with a loft over and a hay barn, a semi-intensive poultry house and a garage "for Baby Austin". A corrugated iron pig box, a summer house and croquet lawn, two further summer houses, a coal place under the line room, a septic tank draining into the river and water laid on from Biggleswade waterworks completed the picture.

The valuer commented: "Gas and central heating all over house (5 Radiators), a highly desirable property in every way. High and spacious Rooms conveniently placed round hall and landing. The modern improvements have been installed by the present owner". He also stated that the rateable value must be at least as high as The Hoo in the High Street.

Shortly after the valuer’s visit, in September 1927, Thomas Wade Gery applied for planning permission to alter the property [RDBP1/1114]. In 1976 it was proposed to convert the coach house into a granny annexe [BorBTP/76/1519] and in 1996 permission was sought [PCGreatBarford18/58] to replace balusters and restore the external rendering and cornices and replace the lead guttering.