26 Market Square Leighton Buzzard
26 Market Square in 1798 [Z50/72/38]
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.
26 Market Square was listed by the former Department of Environment in 1975 as Grade II, of special interest. They dated the three storey building to the 18th or early 19th century. It is built, like a fair number in the town, in a local bond of grey headers. The property has a Welsh slate roof and a modern shop window.
26 Market Square June 2008
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 found that it was then numbered 26/28 Market Square [DV1/R74/57] and was owned and occupied by Barnabas Russell, a grocer.
The property had three basement stores measuring, respectively: 23 feet by 28 feet; 19 feet by 7 feet and 12 feet square. The two grocer's shops on the ground floor measured 24 feet by 15 feet and 24 feet by 16 feet. There was also a front warehouse ("really shop") measuring 19 feet by 10 feet 6 inches and 10 feet by 4 feet. A back office measured 16 feet 6 inches by 11 feet 6 inches. The first floor comprised a room measuring 16 feet by 12 feet, two sitting rooms measuring, respectively, 20 feet by 10 feet and 23 feet by 15 feet, a kitchen and scullery measuring 10 feet square and two empty rooms measuring 13 feet by 10 feet and 13 feet by 11 feet. Five bedrooms measuring 10 feet by 11 feet, 15 feet by 11 feet 6 inches, 15 feet by 10 feet, 11 feet by 13 feet and 16 feet by 12 feet along with a bathroom and W. C. comprised the second floor. Outside was a large building with a ground floor comprising a flour store measuring 11 feet 6 inches by 13 feet; another store measuring 15 feet by 13 feet and a further store of 15 feet by 55 feet. The second floor comprised a warehouse extending 55 feet by 18 feet. The valuer summed up: "good large shop - premises too large".
22-26 Market Square June 2008