Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community Histories > Hockliffe > Hockliffe Rectories

Hockliffe Rectories

The Old Rectory February 2013
The Old Rectory February 2013

The Rectory was listed by the former Department of the Environment in 1980 as Grade II, of special interest. An eighteenth century building with later alterations and additions, it is described as colourwashed roughcast, with two storeys and attics. Architectural features are a Welsh slate roof, three sash windows with glazing bars, two gable dormers (these and the gable to the right have serrated bargeboards and roof finals), and a doorhood. There is a lower two storey section to the left, with two sash windows with glazing bars [HER6414].

A terrier [list of property] of the glebe land and buildings belonging to Hockliffe Rectory compiled in 1709 describes the previous Rectory as: "containing three bayes, the timber Oake, the walls some brick, some clay, the covering tiled, four rooms below stairs, two boarded, two bricket, four chambers floored with Oake, three Garrets and a study, seven bayes of outhouses, barning and stabling, some Oake, some Elmet hatchet and boarded all in sufficient repair".  

When the advowson of Hockliffe Rectory was put up for sale by Richard Gilpin in 1822 the sale particulars stated that "the parsonage is situate on a fine eminence, facing the South, commanding beautiful prospects". It was a desirable residence in good repair "a very considerable sum having been expended upon the premises, which contain every accommodation suitable for a respectable family, with pleasure-grounds, gardens and offices" [AD534/10].

In 1891 the Rector William Mason, a widower originally from Richmond in Yorkshire, was living in the house with his three teenage children, a cook and a housemaid. He died in 1897 when an inventory of the fixtures in the Rectory valued them at £28 7s 6d, considerably less than a previous valuation of fixtures made in 1887 which amounted to £49 15s. In 1903 the household furniture and effects of the late Rev. J. W. Kempe were valued at  £121 12s, falling sadly short of the £375 of outstanding bills he had left. A slightly higher sum of £160 13s 10d was raised by the sale of Rev. Kempe's furniture, with an additional £25 8s 6d for the Rectory fixtures.[BML/10/31/6]

Under the terms of the Rating and Valuation Act 1925 every piece of land and building in the country was assessed to determine the rates to be paid on them. When Hockliffe was assessed in 1927 the Rectory consisted of:

  • Downstairs: Hall, 8½ feet by 20 feet; dining room 18 feet by 13 feet; drawing room 14½ feet by 18 feet; morning room 10 feet by 15½ feet; servants halls (formerly the kitchen); kitchen (formerly a cellar); larder, scullery; pantry.
  • Basement: Cellars
  • Upstairs: W.C.; double bedroom; single bedroom; study; another double and another single bedroom down a passage; a single bedroom up steps
  • Attics: Empty attic; attic bedroom; landing
  • Outside: Weather-board and thatch coal shed (tithe barn); weather-board and thatch lean-to bicycle shed; ash pit and wood shed; brick and slate coach house; laundry; earth closet; stable and loose box; food store; harness room
  • Grounds: Lawn in front of house; kitchen gardens.

At this time the Rectory had no drainage, no bathroom, and water was pumped from a well by hand. The Rector, Rev. T. B. Tatham had been there since 1904 and his living was valued at £380 net. The property was described as "a suitable Rectory" and "old". [DV1/C201/71] A further valuation in 1939 reduced the rateable value for the Rectory as buildings in the garden were now being used as a village hall. [DV1/X295/42]