Old Brook House Keysoe
Old Brook House March 2016
Old Brook House is a splendid building, listed by the former Department of Environment in August 1983 as Grade II, of special interest. It dates from the 17th century and is timber-framed with brick and colour-washed plaster infill and has an old clay tiled roof, “rows immediately below the ridge being fish-scale tiles”. The building forms a T-plan with a main block of one storey and attics and a two storeyed cross-wing. The listing notes that the two right-hand bays are set on a lower level and have less substantial timber-framing and so, perhaps, are later in date.
The property seems to have formed part of Brook Farm throughout its history. By the 19th century the farm was part of the estate in Keysoe of the Crawley family of Stockwood near Luton. The family were lords of the manors of Keysoe Bury and of Keysoe Grange. In 1912 Francis Crawley put the manorial estates up for sale by auction. At that date the property was sub-let by the farmer at Brook Farm to a Mr Woodford [X65/74].
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. For some reason the property was not valued in the initial survey work; it formed part of Brook Farm. Later on the property was visited and described in detail [DV1/C30/8C-E]. It was owned by S W Newell, owner of Brook Farm and divided into three tenements. One of these comprised a living room, kitchen and two bedrooms occupied by W Newell; the second, in occupation of, E Newell, contained a living room, a scullery and a bedroom whilst the third, tenanted by E Stapleton, had a living room, a pantry and two bedrooms.