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Beancroft Farm

Beancroft Farmhouse was listed in 1987 as Grade II, of special interest. This was not the original house on the site, which was probably known as Beancroft Manor. The existing house carries a date of 1797 above the doorway. The listing describes it as red brick, mottled with some flared headers, and with clay tile roofs. It is of two storeys, built on an L-plan with 19th and 20th century additions within the angle. The main, south-east elevation is symmetrical. The ground floor has two 3-light casements, and the first floor as two 3-light casements flanking a 2-light casement. All the windows have glazing bars and are under gauged brick flat arches. The central doorway has a door of 6-fielded panels, and a semi-circular fanlight without glazing bars under a gauged brick semi-circular arch with a flat hood on cut brackets. There are integral brick stacks to both gable ends; the right-hand one has been rebuilt. The house has a cogged brick eaves cornice [Heritage Environment Record 4308].

Directories show that in 1862 Beancroft  was occupied by William Brunt and in 1890 and 1910 by Thomas Cook. The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. The valuation book compiled at this time shows that Beancroft Farm was owned by Miss Esther Duncombe and occupied by Guy Owen [DV1/H15/52]. The rent for the farm’s 258 acres was £298 p.a., which had been set around 1916. There were no mains services, with water from a well, lighting from lamps, and earth closets for sanitation. The previous tenant, Mr Cook, left at Michaelmas 1926. The valuer described it as “Quite a useful farm”.  

Records held by Bedfordshire Archives include: 

BMB4/1/15/17/1-2: Tenant’s inventory and valuation and related correspondence, James Cook to Thomas Cook, 1911-1912 

BMB4/1/15/17/3: Plan of Beancroft Farm, 1911 

BMB4/1/16/74: Inventory and valuation for probate, late Samuel Cook of Beancroft Farm, 1912 

BMB4/1/33/19/1-10: Documents relating to transfer of tenancy from Edward Cook to Guy Owen, including inventories and plan, 1926 

Z53/76/1-2: photographs of barns at Beancroft Farm, 1961 

Z55/4/44: photograph of Beancroft Farmhouse, 1961 

Z50/76/15: photograph of Beancroft Farm, 1970