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41 The Village Old Warden

41 High Street The Thatched House about 1920
41 High Street The Thatched House about 1920 [Z50/129/131]

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.

41 High Street is known as The Thatched House. It was listed by the former Department of Environment in 1970 as Grade II, of special interest. It is an early 19th century Ongley Estate cottage "possibly encasing an earlier building". It is built, like most of Old Warden, in "cottage ornée style" and has colour-washed rough-cast over a timber frame with a thatched roof. It has a two room plan, a single storey and attics. It stands out, even in Old Warden, due to its twigwork decoration around the windows, semi-circular "eyebrow dormer" windows in the attic and highly decorated bargeboards on the eves and extending all round the house at roof level.

 41 High Street March 2008
41 High Street March 2008

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 41 and 42 The Village, as The Thatched House was then known [DV1/C34/50-51] noted that both were owned by the Shuttleworth Estate. 41, the northernmost half of the property, was in occupation of W.Webb and comprised a living room and pantry downstairs with one bedroom above; outside were a barn and earth closet. Rent was £2/2/6 per annum and the valuer commented: "Been done up. Pretty".

The neighbouring 42 The Village was in occupation of Mrs.G.Ward and comprised a pantry and living room downstairs with two bedrooms above; outside were the obligatory barn and earth closet. Rent was £2/4/0 per annum and the valuer commented: "Lovely. Fine porch. Nice old cottage. Fetch water from tap. Been done up. Pretty".