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12 Market Square Leighton Buzzard

12 Market Square June 2008
12 Market Square Jun 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 the Market Square 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 Market Square was listed by the former Department of Environment in 1975 as Grade II, of special interest. It has a 19th century stucco front, the rest of the building being 16th or early 17th century. It comprises two storeys, has a tiled roof and a modern shop window.

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 12 Market Square [DV1/R74/64] noted that it was owned and occupied by J. R. Labrum, coal merchant. The front office measured 14 feet square and the back office 7 feet 6 inches by 8 feet.

The rest of the house was let to Reg Cornish at £30 per annum from 1923. The valuer commented: "Rent seems very low". The ground floor accommodation comprised a small entrance, a sitting room measuring 11 feet 6 inches by 14 feet and a kitchen 10 feet by 12 feet. The first floor contained a sitting room measuring 15 feet by 13 feet, a bathroom and two bedrooms measuring 11 feet 6 inches by 14 feet and 9 feet by 12 feet along with a boxroom and W. C. One room, occupied the attic and the property contained no garden or yard.