7 Market Square Leighton Buzzard
7 Market Square 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 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.
7 Market Square was listed by the former Department of Environment in 1975 as Grade II, of special interest. It was dated to the 17th century and is built of timber framework with later brick nogging now whitewashed. It has an old tiled roof with a gabled dormer and comprises two storeys and attics. The shop front is modern.
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 7 Market Square discovered [DV1/R74/48] that it was owned by the executors of Charles Yirrell and occupied by Charles Yirrell junior, a butcher, who paid no rent. There were no cellars and the shop occupied 11 feet 6 inches by 15 feet. Also on the ground floor were a breakfast room measuring 11 feet by 10 feet, a pantry, a larder and a lean-to washhouse measuring 15 feet by 14 feet. Upstairs were three rooms measuring 11 feet 6 inches by 12 feet, 11 feet by 10 feet and 10 feet by 15 feet, clearly originally bedrooms. A slaughterhouse and two pens stood outside. The valuer noted: "brick and tile old property, no yard, right of way only".