Park House in 1910 [CCE824/33]
Park House was listed by the former Department of Environment in December 1979 as Grade II, of special interest. The property dates to the 19th century and is constructed of sandstone under a slate roof. A one storey modern extension stands to the right hand side.
The early history of the house and site was compiled by Bedfordshire Record Office staff [CRT130San3] and reads as follows: “At the time of the inclosure of the open fields (1799) this formed part of Sandy Place Estate and was owned by Sir Philip Monoux. There are two buildings marked on the map near the present Park House but these are closer to the Ivel”.
“By 1811 the estate had passed to the Hon. Samuel Henley Ongley (son of the 1st Baron Ongley of Old Warden) who had married in 1809 Frances, daughter and co-heir of Sir Philip Monoux. At this time the Sandy Park House site and surrounding land appears to have gone with the mill and was occupied by William Dobson as tenant”.
“The Ongleys held the estate until 1851 when the whole 1,432 acres was put up for sale by auction. There was a house on the present site at that time but from the map which accompanies the sale catalogue [PM2957] it in no way represents the shape of the present one, and would appear to have been considerably smaller (an annotation to this account states that the house was enlarged in brick in 1857). At this time it was in the tenancy of Elizabeth Pope who is described in directories of 1851 and 1854 as a miller and farmer; almost certainly the widow of Charles Pope, miller of Sandy Mill described in the 1847 directory”.
“It seems there was no buyer in 1851 for it was again put up for sale in 1853, this time broken up into numerous lots. Lot Number 2 consisted of Sandy Mill, miller’s cottage, various outbuildings, a small area of surrounding land and “The Residence”, which presumably is the one coloured red on the 1851 sale catalogue plan. It is described as follows [CCE824/13]: substantially Stone Built, and Slated, and contains on the Ground Floor, Entrance Porch and Hall, Dining Room, Drawing Room, Kitchen, Washhouse, Dairy, Larder and Knife House, a Yard and Garden in the Rear, and on the First Floor are Six Capital Bed Rooms. All the above are in the occupation of Messrs Pope as yearly tenants”.
“By 1864 “Charles Pope Esq.” comes under the classification “Gentry” in the directories, and again in 1869. The 1894 directory is the first to name the house “The Park” – occupied by Mrs. Pope, widow of Charles and Charles George Pope, their son”.
In 1909 Park House was part of an estate covering Bedford, Goldington, Ravensden and Sandy offered for sale by auction [X67/71]. The particulars do not give the name of the vendor but it was, presumably, Charles George Pope. The details for Park House are as follows:
FREEHOLD RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
Situated about one mile from Sandy Station and approached from the Bedford Road by a private road. It is bounded on the South by the River Ivel for a distance of about 530 yards. The house is an
OLD-FASHIONED BRICK AND STONE STRUCTURE
With slated roof, pleasantly situated in a sheltered position well above the river. It has South and East aspects and contains: Drawing Room, 14 feet by 13 feet 9 inches; Dining Room, 13 feet 6 inches by 14 feet; Morning Room, 13 feet 6 inches by 13 feet 6 inches; Gun Room, 13 feet by 11 feet; Lavatory and W. C., dark Room; also Kitchen with modern range, scullery, larder, two pantries, dry cellarage and dairy, and out-offices which include coal house, boot house and servants’ W. C. Above are Seven Bedrooms, Bathroom (fitted with Ewart’s geyser for hot water supply) and W. C. Company’s gas is laid on, and drinking water is obtained from a spring well. Water for domestic purposes is taken from the river and raised by a ram situated in enclosure No. 168 on plan. There is an
EXCELLENT RANGE OF STABLING
Partly enclosing a Staffordshire brick-paved yard. It comprises Two Coach-houses, Harness Room, Two Loose Boxes, two Stalls, Sick Box and Granary, also Store House and Cow House
Are nicely matured and include lawns with herbaceous beds, shaded with numbers of well grown ornamental and other trees, full-sized Tennis Court and Walled Kitchen Garden. Adjoining are rich well timbered paddocks and water meadows. The area of the whole extends to about
22 acres 2 roods 2 poles
This lot is in hand and is of an estimated rental value of £130 per annum. The keys of the house can be obtained from Mr. Fennemore, Market Square, Sandy.
Unlike the Bedford area lots this lot has not been annotated with a sale price or buyer’s name but it seems likely that the purchaser was James Matthews who appears as occupier in Kelly’s Directory for Bedfordshire of 1914.
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. Sandy, like most of the county, was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting Park House [DV1/C28/11] found it owned and occupied by James Matthews. Directories tell us he was still in residence in 1940.
The house stood in just under an acre and a half and comprised three reception rooms, a dairy, a kitchen, a scullery and a w. c. downstairs with six bedrooms, a box room, a bathroom and w. c. upstairs. Outside stood a washhouse, an old w. c., store and coal shed along with an old glasshouse in a walled garden. Neither mains water nor gas were laid on.
The valuer commented: “very old, bad”. He also noted: “Park land (very wet), fishing rights over frontage of river. Farm buildings comprised: a brick and slate hay store; a shed with a grate; a brick and slate cart shed; a brick and slate two stall stable; a brick and slate cart shed; a brick and slate harness room; a one stall cow shed; a two stalled stable; a three stalled cow shed; a timber store shed and an old brick, timber and tiled shed on an island in the river. Eight acres, two roods of grass land (“very wet, liable to floods”) formed part of the premises.
The property was sold in 1946, presumably after the death of James Matthews. The purchaser was a Mrs. Ronald Boyd [CRT130San3]