10 North Street Leighton Buzzard
10 North Street June 2008
The Manor of Leighton Buzzard alias Grovebury was the principal landowner in the town before the 19th century. Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service has a full run of court rolls from 1393 to 1727 [KK619-715] and another full run from 1704 to 1867 [X288/1-23]. The service also has court rolls for other manor to own land in the town, the Prebendal Manor, from 1448 to 1459, 1588 to 1591, 1611 to 1622, 1627 and 1631 [KK792-1798]. A fair number of buildings in North Street were originally copyhold and a detailed study of these court rolls would probably produce quite detailed histories for a number of properties and the sites on which they stand, though it would take many years of study.
10 North Street was listed by the former Department of Environment in 1975 as Grade II, of special interest. Astonishingly, it was dated to the early to mid 15th century. This seems very unlikely given the external appearance; it seems likely that this date is a misprint for 18th or, more likely, 19th century. The property is built in red brick, with a pantiled roof. It has three storeys with two sash windows on each upper floor under flat arches. The shop front is 19th century. The building was "included for group value". Benjamin Bevan published a map of Leighton Buzzard in 1819; two years later a reference book was published giving owners and occupiers of every property shown on his map. At that date 10 North Street was owned by J. Hood and divided into two tenements, one occupied by Hood, the other by Joseph Allen.
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. Leighton Buzzard was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting 10 North Street [DV1/R74/21] noted that it was owned by H. E. Dawson and occupied by Walter Sharp, ironmonger at a rent of £56 per annum from 1925. There was a basement cellar under the shops. The ground floor comprised the shops themselves, measuring 9 feet by 13 feet and 12 feet by 17 feet as well as a store room measuring 10 feet by 7 feet, a kitchen measuring 12 feet square and a scullery of 11 feet by 10 feet. The first floor had a sitting room measuring 10 feet 6 inches by 20 feet and two bedrooms measuring 6 feet by 12 feet and 12 feet square. The second floor contained two bedrooms measuring 11 feet by 7 feet and 10 feet square. Outside stood a brick and slate two storey workshop with rooms measuring 10 feet by 22 feet, a brick and slate washhouse ("poor"), a W. C. and a garden. The valuer summed up: "double fronted shop too large for street".