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9 North Street Leighton Buzzard

9 North Street about 1900
9 North Street about 1900 [Z1306/72]

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.

9 North Street was listed by the former Department of Environment in 1975 as Grade II, of special interest. It is a 19th century building, constructed of yellow brick, with a Welsh slated roof and comprising three storeys with a modern shop window. The upper floors have each have a central dummy window as well as two sash windows with glazing bars either side. 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 today's 9 North Street was a premises owned and occupied by W. Dumbleton.

 9 North Street June 2008
9 North Street 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 9 North Street [DV1/R74/27] noted that it was owned and occupied by the London Central Meat Company Limited. The ground floor shop measured 17 feet by 16 feet plus 9 feet 6 inches by 2 feet 6 inches there was also a sink place measuring 8 feet by 3 feet 6 inches. Each upper floor had three rooms, those on the first floor measuring 13 feet by 7 feet; 13 feet by 10 feet; 10 feet by 9 feet with those on the second floor being: "same size as first floor". Outside stood a W. C. and a brick and slate two storey store ("old and poor") measuring 12 feet by 10 feet on the ground floor and 16 feet by 10 feet first floor (suggesting a four foot overhang). The valuer commented: "no back entrance; good shop front; small yard". At the time of writing [2009] the meat being sold comes from the ocean rather than the land as the premises is a fish and chip shop.