VIllage Farm Houghton Conquest
Village Farmhouse February 2016
Village Farmhouse was listed by English Heritage in May 1985 as Grade II, of special interest. The property dates from the late 18th or early 19th century “probably encasing an earlier structure”. It is built of red brick and has a clay tiled roof. The property comprises two storeys.
In 1901 the Morris Estate, with property in Ampthill, Flitwick, Steppingley, Maulden, Flitton and Houghton Conquest was put up for sale. The sale particulars [Z648/1] tell us that Village Farm, Lot 35, comprised 77 aces, 2 roods, 16 poles of which 23 acres, 2 roods, 31 poles was arable and the rest grass. The tenant was Robert Stanbridge whose rent was £79 per annum. The house comprised two sitting rooms, a kitchen, a dairy, a cellar, four bedrooms, four attics, a washhouse and a garden. The homestead was: a two-bay open shed and manger; a cart horse stable for seven; a yard; a granary; tw loose boxes; a three-bay cart shed; a corn barn; a two-bay shed and manger; three pigsties and a hen house.
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 Village Farm [DV1/H45/24] found it owned and occupied by Joseph Stevens, perhaps he had been the purchaser in 1901. It comprised 78 acres and the valuer commented: “Land very Wet”. A colleague wrote: “Land by House very fair that along lane not good and no water in big grass field”.
The farmhouse comprised two reception rooms, a kitchen and a dairy with four bedrooms upstairs. The valuer commented: “Bad position, overlooks yard”. Water came from a well. The homestead was in three blocks as follows:
- A brick and slate cow house for seven;
- A timber and slate open hovel; a timber, slate and tiled pigsty and loose box;
- A timber, slate and tiled barn; another barn or granary; a brick and slate three-bay cart hovel and a brick and slate stable for three.