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18 and 19 The Village Old Warden

18 and 19 High Street March 2008
18 and 19 The Village March 2008

Old Warden is something of a show village due to the preponderance of attractive cottages; some are tiled, some are thatched, but most are quaint looking and painted in the same livery of cream and white. Most are rendered and some have mock timber framing on the outside (sometimes concealing real timber framing beneath the render!). All look old but many are 19th century. They all belonged to the Shuttleworth Estate as it was known after Joseph Shuttleworth bought the estate in 1872. It had previously been the Ongley estate after Samuel Ongley bought it from Earl Bolingbroke, a member of the Saint John family of Bletsoe, in 1698.

Both 18 and 19 High Street were listed by the former Department of Environment in 1970 as Grade II, of special interest. 18 was described as 18th century reworked in the early 19th century and so was built by the Ongley Estate. It is constructed of colour-washed rough-cast render over a timber frame, with a clay tile roof. It has a two room plan, one storey and attics.

Number 19 is a larger house, formerly divided into two properties (19 and 20). It is 17th century, meaning it was either built by the Saint John family or, possibly, in the first years of Ongley ownership of the estate. It was reworked in the 1879 by the Shuttleworth Estate "in cottage ornée style". It, too, is of timber-framed construction with colour-washed rough-cast render and has applied decorative timber-framing (presumably done in 1879). It has a thatched roof and a two room plan, one storey and attics.

In 1872 Old Warden Park was sold by Robert, 3rd Baron Ongley by private contract to Joseph Shuttleworth. The sale catalogue of the time [X65/61] noted that 18 and 19 High Street were in the respective occupations of Widow Scott at £1/11/6 per annum and Caleb Wheatley at 4 guineas per annum, he had by far the larger property and garden.

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 18 and 19 High Street, or 18 and 19 the Village, as they were then known [DV1/C34/68-69] found them both owned by the Shuttleworth Estate. Number 18 was occupied by M.Marston and comprised a living room and parlour downstairs with two bedrooms above; outside were a barn and earth closet. The property stood in 0.160 of an acre and water had to be fetched either from Jacob's Well or the pump outside Parsonage Piece. Rent was £6 per annum.

Number 19 was occupied by C.Radford and comprised a kitchen and parlour downstairs with two bedrooms above with two barns and two earth closets outside, the whole standing in 0.160 of an acre. Like his neighbour Radford had to fetch his own water but paid less rent - £5/13/0 per annum.