19 to 25 Station Road March 2011
The Bedfordshire Historic Environment Record [HER] contains information on the county’s historic buildings and landscapes and summaries of each entry can now be found online as part of the Heritage Gateway website. The entry for 19 to 25 Station Road [HER 9215] describes them as a terrace of mid 19th century Bedford built of coursed limestone rubble. With yellow brick dressings and hipped Welsh slate roofs. The block is built in an H-plan and each property has two storeys and sash windows. They make quite a contrast with the other Bedford Estate cottages in the High Street.
The Dukes of Bedford were Lords of the Manor of Oakley Reynes from 1737 to 1918, meaning that they owned practically the entire parish by the mid 19th century. The Duke of Bedford sold the bulk of the Oakley Estate by auction on 31st October 1918. 9 to 15 Station Road formed Lot 40 which was described as follows.
Another Block of Four Cottages
stone, brick and slated, containing Five Rooms in each, Outbuildings and Gardens.
Situated in Pavenham Road, adjoining Lot 39 [27-33 Station Road], being Part [Ordnance Survey Field Number] 34 on the Plan and extending to about
0 acres 2 roods 17 poles
Held by Mr. Albert Hardwick, Mr. Thomas Taylor, Mr. Jesse Eaton and Mr. Walter Prickett, all on quarterly tenancies.
NOTE – The Purchaser shall forthwith erect an approved pale fence along the South-East boundary of this Lot.
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. Oakley, like most of the county was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting 19 to 25 Station Road [DV1/C107/141-144] found them owned by T. R. Porter of the Bedford Arms.
Number 19, then numbered 61 The Village, was occupied by J. M. Thomson who paid no rent because he was a member of Porter’s family. His accommodation comprised a living room and kitchen with three bedrooms above. A barn and an earth closet stood outside. The valuer commented: “Fetch Water across Road” and “Good Row”.
Number 21 was in the occupation of R. Craddock who paid three shillings per week and had since 1919. Number 23 was still occupied by Jesse Eaton and Number 25, 58 The Village, by Walter Prickett, both these two men also paid three shillings per week in rent.