16 and 18 School Lane February 2011
Numbers 16 and 18 School Lane stand at the end of the lane and extend northwards, at right angles to numbers 20 to 30. Number 16 is to the north and Number 18 to the south. The properties were listed by the former Department of Environment in July 1975 as Grade II, of special interest. The department dated the properties to the 17th and 18th centuries.
The properties are timber-framed. They have some pebbledash rendering and parts of the buldings have mottled brick casing over the timber frame. They have clay tiled roofs. Number 16 comprises two storeys and attics, whilst 18 has a single storey and attics.
Number 18 was owned by the Wrest Park Estate. When the 9th Baron Lucas of Crudwell was killed in action on the Western Front with the Royal Flying Corps in December 1916 his sister Nan Ino succeeded him as 10th Baroness Lucas. She decided to break up and sell the estate and offered Numbers 18 to 30 School Lane to their tenants. Number 18 was sold for £50 to Miss Sarah Jane Weston in December 1918 [L23/125].
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 valuer visiting School Lane found that Number 16 was still owned and occupied by Miss Weston who was "not in" when the valuer called. The house comprised a living room and kitchen with two bedrooms above. Part of one of the bedrooms lay above the ground floor of Number 18 [DV1/C269/61].
Number 18 was owned by W. Bullin and occupied by A. Palmer junior who paid rent of £30 per annum [DV1/C269/62]. Accommodation comprised a porch, a living room, a kitchen, a washhouse, a pantry, two bedrooms ("must be big") and a small attic. The valuer commented: "two big chimney stacks at side" and "was old farm house". There were still farm buildings outside comprising: a wood and tiled stable used as a store; two pigsties; a store barn; a food store and a three bay hovel. 1.176 acres of rough grass and a "good" orchard formed part of the property. The valuer commented: "Used for market gardening" and "boiling copper side of house".
By the 1950s 16 and 18 formed one property. A sale particular [Z938/6/17/4] describes it as "ideally suitable as a poultry or pig farm". Accommodation then comprised:
- A dining room "with modern fireplace, deep cupboard and power point";
- A breakfast room "with power point and two deep cupboards";
- A kitchen "with sink, pantry and power point";
- A lounge "having modern fireplace, deep cupboard and power point";
- Square landing;
- Three bedrooms, two of them double and one single.
Outside was a "very large garden at rear of house with greenhouse. There is a further piece of ground almost opposite the property with a large adjoining yard (at present used for wood business) with a large range of out-buildings including large galvanised shed, two timber sheds, tow large pig styes, modern brick building with six pig styes. There is ample space for parking lorries. Elsan lavatory".
The particulars ended: "The House is of pebble dashed elevation and is in very good order throughout". Mains water and electricity was laid on. The asking price was £1,500.