4 Hockliffe Street Leighton Buzzard
4 Hockliffe 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 the town 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.
4 Hockliffe Street was listed by the former Department of Environment in 1975 as Grade II, of special interest. The building dates from the 17th century and is constructed of whitewashed brick with a steeply pitched tile roof. The shop front dates to the early or mid 19th century. 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. 4 Hockliffe Street was then owned by brewer Samuel Reeve and occupied by a Widow James.
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 4 Hockliffe Street [DV1/R80/33] noted that it was owned by Benskins Brewery Company Limited, which owned the Roebuck, next door, and occupied by William Edward Dean & Son, butchers at a rent of £10/12/- per annum.
The property comprised the butcher's shop itself measuring 15 feet by 12 feet and store rooms measuring 8 feet 6 inches by 11 feet and 9 feet by 5 feet 6 inches. In the yard was a sausage room measuring 10 feet by 12 feet with a loft over and a W. C. in the yard. The valuer commented: "very old, poor shop". The building now forms the entrance to Peacock Mews.