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8 Northbridge Street Shefford

6 to 8 Northbridge Street about 1910
6 to 8 Northbridge Street about 1910 [Z50/101/37]

8 Northbridge Street is on the north side of the more eye-catching 6 Northbridge Street (the former Cock Inn now called The Porch). Both properties were listed by the former Department of Environment as Grade II (or special interest), Number 6 in 1952 and Number 8 in 1966, at which time it was Kingswood Chemists. It may have been a 16th century building but was rebuilt in the early 19th century with red brick and a clay tile roof. The building has two storeys and attics, the windows are 20th century. The unusual roof is known as a Gambrel roof.

 8 Northbridge Street January 2008
8 Northbridge Street January 2008

The Osborn family archive [O] contains a run of deeds for the Cock. In 1566 it was described as being bounded to the north by a tenement occupied by Thomas Cranfeld who was buying the Cock. If 8 Northbridge Street is indeed a 16th century property Cranfeld may have been one of its first owners.

Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records service has a stray conveyance of 1863 in which 6 Northbridge Street was conveyed by Sir George Robert Osborn of Chicksands Priory and his son Henry John Robert Osborn of 1st Lifeguards to confectioner Thomas Smith [X153]. The conveyance mentions that 8 Northbridge Street was being sold at the same time to Charles Ferguson, a draper and so evidently the property was also held by the Osborn family.

In 1927 the town of Shefford was valued under the 1925 Rating Valuation Act; every piece of land and building in the country was assessed to determine the rates to be paid on it. The valuer noted [DV1/C289/11] that the owner and occupier was J.H.Lenton and, just as forty years later, it was a chemist's shop. The valuer mistakenly described it as detached but correctly noted its brick and tile structure; it stood in 0.112 acres. Internally the building comprised a reception room, kitchen, scullery and pantry as downstairs living accommodation with a drawing room and two bedrooms on the first floor and three attics on second storey ("fair"). Outside were a stable and coach house with a loft over ["all used as store"]. The ground floor chemist's shop measured 13½ feet by 17½ feet and was "good".

At the time of writing [2008] 8 Northbridge Street is a commercial premises. The business is called The Lemon Tree.