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9 Market Square Potton

9 and 10 Market Square February 2013
9 and 10 Market Square February 2013

9 to 11 Market Square was listed by English Heritage in March 1986 as Grade II, of special interest. The row of three dates from the early 19th century. They must postdate 1813 as a map of that date [W2/10] shows buildings in "The George Yard" behind the frontage today occupied by 9-11 Market Square, but nothing on the frontage itself.

The properties are built of brick, Number 9 having a chequerwork pattern made with vitrified bricks contrasting with the red bricks. The listing notes: “May incorporate earlier structure”. Each property comprises two storeys beneath a slate roof. The listing states that Number 9 was “included for group value”.

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. The valuer visiting Potton found that 9 to 11 Market Square were all owned by a Mrs. Barker.

Number 9 [DV1/C11/120] was occupied by Mary Jane Armond who, Kelly’s Directory for 1928 for Bedfordshire, tells us was a market gardener. Her rent was £40 per annum, which included a large range of buildings at the rear [DV1/C11/122]. Number 9 comprised a drawing room measuring 17 feet by 14 feet 6 inches, a dining room measuring 13 feet by 10 feet 6 inches and a kitchen measuring 13 feet by 11 feet 6 inches on the ground floor; a lean-to office measuring 10 feet by 9 feet and 15 feet by 8 feet stood outside. The first floor had a bathroom and W. C. and three bedrooms measuring, respectively, 17 feet 3 inches by 13 feet 6 inches, 10 feet by 11 feet 6 inches and 9 feet 6 inches by 11 feet 6 inches. Outside stood a W. C. and a coal shed. The valuer commented: “Pre-war rent”.

Mary Jane’s farm buildings comprised: a brick and slate wood store, corn store, cycle shed, two loose boxes, harness room, two bay hovel and three stall stable used for lumber; a brick, wood and slate two stall stable and three stall stable with a loft over; a brick, wood and slate garage with a loft over and large barn and a wood and tiled garage and two stall stable. There were also buildings Mary Jane had had erected herself: a wood and corrugated iron large open shelter; a wood and corrugated iron five bay cart and implement hovel; a gas engine and carrot washing machine and a wood and corrugated iron potato shed. The valuer commented: “Very good yard not fully used”.

Mary Jane is listed in Kelly’s Directory for Bedfordshire for 1931 but not in the next edition, that of 1936, when a Miss Barker is listed. One suspects that she was the daughter of the owner.