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11 Northbridge Street Shefford

11 Northbridge Street January 2008
11 Northbridge Street January 2008

11 Northbridge Street is a handsome building on the west side of the street. It was previously owned by the Shefford Feoffees – the trustees of the Robert Lucas Feoffee Estate. The building was listed by the former Department of Environment in January 1985 as Grade II, of special interest. The department dated the property to the 18th century, noting that it was reworked in the mid 19th century. The house is built of red brick with a later door surround in yellow brick. It has a tiled roof and comprises two storeys.

11 Northbridge Street in 1834 [X465/322]
11 Northbridge Street in 1834 [X465/322]

The Shefford Feoffees carried out surveys of their properties in 1834 and 1871 and luckily both of these survive. In 1834 [X465/322] the property was described as: "One Messuage or Tenement, Barns, yard, garden and appurtenances adjoining the last described premises [3 to 9 Northbridge Street] now in the occupation of Mrs. Muggliston containing in the whole Thirty two poles. Bounded on the north by an estate of Mr. O'Brien, on the east by Bedford Street aforesaid [as Northbridge Street was then known], on the south by other part of Lucas' Trust estate [7 and 9 Northbridge Street] last hereinbefore described and on the west by a Ditch running between the aforesaid premises and a meadow belonging to the Duke of Bedford".

11 Northbridge Street in 1871 [X465-323]
11 Northbridge Street in 1871 [X465/323]

By 1871 [X465/323] the occupier was William Stapleton. The estate to the north was then owned by George Barker and the meadow to the east by William Caton. A William Stapleton in Bridge Street was identified in directories of 1869, 1871 and 1877 as being the postmaster for Shefford and so it looks as if 11 Northbridge Street was the post office until it moved to 20 High Street in the late 1870s or early 1880s. Previous postmasters, all in Bridge Street, had been Henry Steel (1864), Charles Clarkson (1862) Mrs. Frances Lewington (1863) and Francis Lewington (1862).

The second and third vicars of Shefford (1909-1920) lived at 11 Northbridge Street as their Vicarage. In 1927 the town was surveyed as part of 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 Northbridge Street [DV1/C290/117] noted that the property used to be The Vicarage, the tenant now being Mrs. H. Tingey. He discovered that the building comprised four reception rooms and a kitchen downstairs with five bedrooms and a boxroom above. He specifically noted "no bath". Outside were a barn and wash-house. He then jotted down a few notes as follows: "Tenant does all inside repairs"; "Poor place"; "Large"; "Teas supplied"; "Taxi for hire"; "Garage" and, ominously, "Liable to Flood".

Directories of 1928, 1931, 1936 and the last directory for the county, 1940, all list Charles Tingey at 11 Northbridge Street. He was a motor cab proprietor. Directories for the same period also listed dentist H. E. Geeson as visiting the address on Mondays from 2 p. m. to 7 p. m. In 1974 the Shefford Feoffees drew up a new scheme for their charity with the Charity Commission and the list of properties owned in Shefford no longer includes 11 Northbridge Street [X465/332].