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Old Grove Farmhouse Kensworth

Old Grove Farmhouse was listed by the former Department of Environment in September 1980 as Grade II, of special interest. It dates from the 17th or 18th century, though it is “much altered”. It comprises one storey and attics beneath an old clay tiled roof.

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. Kensworth, like much of the county, was largely assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting Grove Farm House, as it was then known [DV1/C110/28] found it was owned and occupied by George Todhunter.

Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years from the early to mid 19th century until 1940. Kensworth first appears in Bedfordshire directories in 1898, having been transferred from Hertfordshire in 1897. Todhunter is identified as the tenant in directories of 1924, 1928, 1931, 1936 and 1940. Before 1924 the property is not listed.

Todhunter’s accommodation comprised a reception room, a living room, a kitchen and a scullery with four bedrooms above. Outside stood weather-boarded and thatched store sheds as well as a brick and slate general store shed (“was a chapel (Good)”). The latter is a puzzling reference. It may refer to an old Baptist or Mormon meeting. Neither sect had a purpose built chapel and would have made use of dwellings or outbuildings in which to meet. The valuer’s comment should be taken as reading that the store shed had also been used as a chapel rather than it having been a chapel later used as a store shed.