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Brook House - 72 High Street Riseley

Brook House - 72 High Street April 2015
Brook House - 72 High Street April 2015

Brook House was listed by the former Department of Environment in June 1974 as Grade II, of special interest. The property originated in the 17th century. It is a timber-framed building, partly on a stone plinth, later encased in brick and part covered in colour-washed roughcast. The roof is tiled. Three projecting wings were added in the 19th century, two to the front and one to the rear.

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 the property [DV1/C217/142] found that it was called Brook House and that it was owned and occupied by Captain Hodges. The house stood in just over half an acre and the valuer commented: "Don't like it … awkward looking place".

It comprised a small hall measuring 12 feet by 7 feet, a drawing room measuring 21 feet by 15 feet, a dining room with the same proportions, a small sitting room measuring 15 feet square, a kitchen measuring 15 feet by 11 feet 6 inches and a scullery which was "too big, used as kitchen". There was also a coal house, a WC, a dairy and a larder. Upstairs were: a bedroom over the sitting room; a double bedroom over the dining room; a dressing room ("very small"); a single bedroom measuring 12 feet by 14 feet 6 inches; a back room ("very poor"); a small bedroom; a small bedroom or boxroom; another small bedroom; two more small bedrooms which communicated and a WC. Outside was a greenhouse used as a conservatory, a stable used as stores, two store places and a garage. The valuer summed up: "Oil lamps only, drainage and water supply alright. Not a taking property and do not consider lettable, dark and badly planned, looks better than it is". Captain Hodges also had a grass field of 8.326 acres and some farm buildings which were leased to Frank Felce and E D Valentine respectively for £11/0/8 and £1/16/- per annum.

Today [2015] Brook House is a residential care home. It was acquired with this view in mind in 1986.