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1 and 3 Mill Lane Greenfield

1 and 3 Mill Lane February 2011
1 and 3 Mill Lane February 2011

These two small, attractive cottages stand at the junction of Mill Lane with the High Street. They was listed by the former Department of Environment in July 1975 as Grade II, of special interest. The department dated them to the 18th century. Number 3 may once have been a pair of tiny cottages.

Both structures are built of colourwashed roughcast over a timber frame and have thatched roofs. Number 1 was built with three rooms downstairs and Number 3 with two. Both had bed spaces in the attics.

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 the cottages [DV1/C269/110-111] found them both owned by F. Taylor. Taylor lived at Number 1 and his accommodation comprised a kitchen, living room and scullery downstairs with three bedrooms in the roof. A "good" barn lay outside. Before he bought the cottage he had paid rent of £5 per year.

Number 3 was in the occupation of Mrs. Burrows. She had a living room and a kitchen downstairs and a bedroom in the attics.

Frederick Taylor in 1932
Frederick Taylor in 1932

The Bedfordshire Times of 12th February 1932 carried an article based on interviews with old people in Greenfield. They included Frederick Taylor: "It is difficult to realize when chatting to Mr. Frederick Taylor, of Mill Lane, that this tall, upright man was 79, for he still has the bearing of a man many years younger. He is still alert, both mentally and physically. Born in Greenfield, he has lived there all his life, and probably knows as much about the village as anyone. After attending Pulloxhill School he helped with straw plaiting at home, and set out to work at the age of eleven. He then went to learn the trade of bricklayer with Mr. Dan Wildman at Maulden where he remained until he had become a skilled worker. In 1875 - his memory for dates is remarkable - he heard that there was work at Kempston, where a London contractor was building the barracks; so he set off and got a job there he used to walk to his work on Monday mornings, leaving Greenfield at 5 o'clock to get to Kempston by eight. Bedford, he says, was very quiet in those days, and he used to spend his evenings walking along the river bank. In the following year he got work with Mr. Samuel Foster of Kempston, by whom he was employed for fifty years. During this time he worked on many of the churches in the county and many other large buildings, including the Bedford Girls' High School, Ampthill Road School, Saint Martin's church, Jesus College, Cambridge and Newnham Ladies' College. In his young days his wages were sixpence an hour, which was considered very good money, but on one occasion he went on strike for eightpence and hour, and - what is more - he got it. he has lived in his present home, Vine Cottage, all his life and hopes to end his days there as did his grandfather before him".

Flitton parish registers reveal that Frederick Taylor was buried on 5th March 1938, aged 85.