12 Lake Street Leighton Buzzard
12 Lake 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 Lake 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.
12 Lake Street is one of a number of substantial houses in the street to be listed by the former Department of Environment in 1972 as Grade II, of special interest. The building was dated to the early 19th century and is built of yellow brick with a tiled roof with panelled cornice on paired brackets. It comprises three storeys. In 1819 Benjamin Bevan published a map of Leighton Buzzard which was enhanced two years later with a reference book showing the owners and occupiers of each property shown on the map. It is not clear whether the building shown on the map is the present one or its predecessor - the owner and ocupier was a W. Pyne.
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 the property [DV1/R80/7-8] noted that it was owned and occupied by Harold John Hamilton. It had a basement cellar and, on the ground floor: an entrance hall; a dining room; a kitchen and scullery and a morning room. A drawing room, a double bedroom, a single bedroom, two further bedrooms and a W. C. stood on the first floor with three bedrooms, a bathroom and W. C. on the second floor. Outside stood a brick and tile two storey wood and coal shed with a loft over, a brick and tile store, an old harness room, a small greenhouse, an asbestos and corrugated iron garage measuring 8 feet by 15 feet and old wood and tile barns used as a wood store. The valuer commented: "poor position on road; nice garden; no tennis lawn".
The property, together with 14 Lake Street, was sold at auction by its then owner, A. H. Murby in 1951. Together the two properties made £7,500.