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141 Warden Street Old Warden

141 Warden Street Sunbeam Cottage March 2008
141 Warden Street, Sunbeam Cottage, March 2008

Old Warden may, at first sight, look like a closed village - that is to say, owned by one large estate - in the case of Old Warden the Ongley Estate and its successor the Shuttleworth Estate. This is not the case, however. Whilst the High Street and Church End were almost exclusively part of the Ongley/Shuttleworth Estate outlying parts of the parish such as the farms were just as likely to be owned by another big local landowner - the Whitbread Estate of Southill. Indeed, it was by exchanging all the Ongley land in Southill for some  of the Whitbread land in Old Warden that Samuel Ongley consolidated his estate on Old Warden.

Warden Street is one of those parts of the parish which was part of the Whitbread Estate. It is, in effect, a small hamlet of the larger parish. 141 Warden Street, now known as Sunbeam Cottage, was listed by the former Department of Environment in 1972 as Grade II, of special interest. It is a Whitbread Estate cottage. It bears a plaque "S W 1775 Restored W H W 1860" indicating that it had been built by Samuel Whitbread the elder, founder of the Whitbread Brewery. It is a red brick building with a clay tile roof with bands of fish scale tiles. It has a two room plan, a single storey and attics. 142 Warden Street some yards to the north is a similar building.

In 1927 the dwellings of Old Warden were valued under the Rating 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 141 Warden Street [DV1/A24/15c] found that it was owned by Samuel Howard Whitbread and occupied by Mrs.Charles Nottingham. The building comprised a parlour, kitchen and scullery with a basin with two bedrooms in the attics; there was a small garden but no running water; rent was £6/8/10 per annum. The valuer commented: "All attic up but nice".