50 to 52 Church Lane Odell
50 to 52 Church Lane May 2008
There are a number of attractive old properties in Church Lane, some distance from the rest of the village. The two cottages today known as 50 and 52 Church Lane were listed by the former Department of Environment, which described them as: "Terrace of cottages with date stone 1705 on south gable apex". Like most of the older properties in the area they are built of coursed limestone rubble. They have two storeys and thatched roofs. The stone and tile extension to the south of Number 50 is modern.
In 1927 Odell was valued 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 it. The valuer visiting the cottages [DV1/C166/59-60] noted that the owner was Rowland Crewe Alston, who owned the Odell Castle Estate and thus most of the parish. At that time Number 52 was occupied by Mrs.E.Smith. The cottage comprised a living room and kitchen with three bedrooms above and a washhouse and barn outside. The valuer remarked: "poor" and "awful"; also: "goes with Howkins Farm" - in other words Hobbs Green Farm. The neighbouring cottage was vacant and was noted to contain a living room, kitchen and scullery downstairs with two bedrooms above and "no out buildings". Again, the valuer remarked: "bad" and "awful"!
In the sale catalogue of Odell Castle estate of 1934 [AD1147/19 ] the previous two cottages were now four - numbered 5-8. Number 5 contained a living room, washhouse, first floor bedroom and two attic bedrooms; it was leased to F.Surridge, who also leased farm buildings and two small fields at £23 per annum. Number 6 comprised two bedrooms, a living room, a pantry and barn and was let to Walter Hulatt at £9/2/- per annum. Numbers 7 and 8 each had one bedroom and one living room and were let to Mrs.Wiles at £7/16/- per annum and W.Labrum at £6/10/- per annum respectively. Clearly at some point after 1934 the four cottages became two once more.
52 Church Lane May 2008