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2 Market Square Leighton Buzzard

2 Market Square June 2008
2 Market Square June 2008

2 Market Square was listed by the former Department of Environment in 1975 as Grade II, of special interest. It was built in 1866 by Alfred Waterhouse in the Gothic style. It is constructed of Bath stone with a Welsh slated roof with three dormer windows and comprises two storeys and attics. It was built as a bank for Bassett & Company. In 1896 Barclays Bank was created by the amalgamation of a number of London and provincial banks one of which was Bassetts, or the Bedfordshire Leighton Buzzard bank as it was then known. The building is still a branch of Barclays at the time of writing [2009]

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 bank, which was already Barclays [DV1/R74/71] noted that the banking halls measured 35 feet by 25 feet and 20 feet by 7 feet. The manager's office measured 28 feet 6 inches by 15 feet, a public office 12 feet by 12 feet 6 inches and a cloakroom, two W. C.'s and a toilet (in the sense of a place to wash one's hands) completed the ground floor. A basement strong room measured 25 feet by 17 feet.

Part of the premises was the house of the manager. This lay on the first floor and comprised: a sitting room measuring 15 feet by 10 feet; a kitchen measuring 15 feet by 21 feet; a W. C.; three bedrooms measuring 8 feet 6 inches by 14 feet, 13 feet by 12 feet 6 inches and 12 feet 3 inches by 18 feet; sitting rooms measuring 16 feet by 20 feet and 14 feet by 15 feet ("good rooms"). The attics contained a bathroom, two small boxrooms and a bedroom. Outside stood a brick and tile coal shed, brick and tile stabling, a coachhouse, four stalls with a loft over used as garage for two cars and a greenhouse measuring 45 feet by 14 feet. There was also a garden.