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14 High Street Leighton Buzzard

The Laurels 14 High Street about 1880
The Laurels 14 High Street about 1880 [Z50/72/196]

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 High 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.

14 High Street was listed by the former Department of Environment in 1975 as Grade II, of special interest. It is a 19th century building constructed from brick, which has been colour-washed, and has a Welsh slate roof. It has three storeys and a 19th century shop front.

14 High Street in 1910
14 High Street in 1910 [Z50/72/117]

A project called Our High Street Revisited 1819-2000 by Leighton-Linslade Local History Research Group [CRT130Lei58] aimed to use directories and census records to try to establish as full a history of use of the building in the High Street as possible. The results for Number 14 are as follows:

  • 1819: owner occupier Miss Harpur;
  • 1841: house of Margaret Procter;
  • 1851: house of Margaret Pettit (occupied with Number 12);
  • 1861: house of Elizabeth Warner (occupied with Number 12);
  • 1871: Harrison Braithwaite, general practitioner;
  • 1881: Richard Purser, plumber and decorator and local Baptist preacher;
  • 1891: Richard Purser, painter and glazier;
  • 1898: Thomas Reed - the Temperance Hotel;
  • 1903; Pursey & Furlong, sanitary engineers;
  • 1928: Pursey & Furlong; Walter Pratt, agricultural engineer;
  • 1936-1940: Pursey & Furlong;
  • 1965: John Harrison, Estate Agents;
  • 1972: Colley Sampson, Estate Agents;
  • 1986-2008: Halifax Building Society, later Bank

The premises were assessed in 1927 under 16 High Street.

14 High Street June 2008
14 High Street June 2008