Orchards Milton Bryan
Orchards February 2012
Orchards was listed by the former Department of Public Buildings and Works in January 1961 as Grade II, of special interest. The house dates from about 1700, though it was reworked in the late 19th century. The earliest part is constructed of red and grey bricks with some timber-framing, which is visible at the left-hand gable suggesting that what we see may encase an earlier structure. The house comprises two storeys in a T-shape beneath clay tiled roofs.
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 valuer visiting [DV1/C261/29] found the property owned by the Duke of Bedford’s London and Devon Estates Company but it was vacant and all the entry says is: “Get information from Park Farm” and “Backs onto yard. Right on road in front”.
An entry in a later valuation book [DV1/X32/20] has more details. By this time the property was tenanted by a man named Burwell who paid rent of £45 per annum. The property comprised three reception rooms (“one room communicating”), a kitchen, two sculleries and a larder downstairs with three bedrooms, a dressing room and a bathroom (“was bedroom”) above. Outside stood a brick and tiled coal shed and a garage. The valuer wrote: “On road in front and gravel yard at back, no garden. Part building old part newer. All been well done up and not [sic now?] quite nice but position is very bad”.