7 North 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 North 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.
7 North Street was listed by the former Department of Environment in 1975 as Grade II, of special interest. The property dates to the mid 19th century and is built of yellow brick with a Welsh slated roof. It has two storeys and the shop window is 19th century.
Benjamin Bevan published a map of Leighton Buzzard in 1819; two years later a reference book was published giving owners and occupiers of every property shown on his map. At that date the site of 7 North Street was owned and occupied by Elizabeth Anthony. In 1992 the archives of T. Brantom and Company, forage and seed merchants, were deposited with Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service [X807]. These included a few deeds covering 7 North Street, which had been a copyhold premises. William Brantom had been admitted to the copyhold cottage in 1869 [X807/1/33] on the surrender of the trustees of its mortgagee, Susanna Cotchin, and owner John Flemons. Flemons had acquired the premises in 1859 after the death of Ann, widow of Nathaniel Stonhill in 1855 or 1856. Stonhill had bought 7 North Street from Elizabeth, widow of Thomas Anthony, perukemaker, in 1829 [X807/1/18] - as noted above, she was the owner of the property in 1821.
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 North Street discovered that it was owned, like 3-5 North Street, by Thomas Brantom and Company Limited [DV1/R74/27]. The house was leased to Walter George Roberts, a tailor, at a rent of £46 per annum rent on a lease dating from 1920.
The ground floor comprised a shop measuring 12 feet 6 inches by 18 feet, a living room measuring 15 feet by 13 feet, a kitchen of 10 feet by 9 feet 6 inches and a scullery of 12 feet by 9 feet. There was no basement. Upstairs were: a sitting room ("partitioned"), measuring 12 feet 6 inches by 18 feet and three bedrooms measuring, respectively, 12 feet by 13 feet, 10 feet by 9 feet 6 inches and 15 feet by 9 feet. There was a W. C. in the yard.