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Avondale House - 35 High Street Shefford

35 High Street January 2012
35 High Street January 2012

Avondale House, 35 High Street is a handsome double-fronted building on the south side of the High Street somewhat spoiled by standing next door to a derelict property. It 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, though noting that it has "some later reworking".

The house is built of red brick and has a clay tiled roof. It comprises two storeys and attics. Different bricks still show the evidence of a now dismantled early 20th century shop front on the left hand side of the ground floor though the building is now a private house.

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. Shefford, like most of the county, was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting Avondale [DV1/C289/61] found that it was owned and occupied by S. J. Odell. His accommodation comprised a "tiny hall", three reception rooms, a kitchen, four bedrooms, a bathroom and two attics. A brick and tiled barn, store etc. stood outside. The valuer commented "small kitchen and range".

Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years. They reveal that S. J. Odell was Samuel James Odell & Son, furniture dealers. The firm, originally just Samuel James Odell himself, is listed in Kelly's Directory for the county for 1920, 1924, 1928, 1031, 1936 and the last Kelly's for the county, that of 1940. Intriguingly a Samuel James Odell is listed in Kelly's for 1914 as a chimney sweep in nearby New Street .