1 and 3 Church Road March 2011
1 and 3 Church Road are really an extension of the row of cottages known as 15 to 29 High Street. They join this row at right-angles. They were listed by the former Department of Environment in January 1961 as Grade II, of special interest. The department dated the property to the 19th century, which suggests they may have been designed by their owner, amateur architect Thomas Philip, 2nd Earl de Grey. Cottages are shown in this position on a map of Silsoe made for the Duke of Kent in 1718 [L33/284 folio 11]
The cottages are built of colour-washed roughcast over a timber frame. They have clay tile roofs. They comprise one storey with attics. A map drawn up for the 2nd Earl de Grey in 1856 [L33/12/13] shows that 1 and 3 Church Road were both tenanted by Edward Emmerton.
1 and 3 Church Road were part of the Wrest Park Estate sold by auction in 1919 [L23/1000/1]. They form, together with 15, 17 and 21 to 29 High Street and 5 to 11 Church Road, part of Lot 7. 1 and 3 Church Road were then numbered 44 and 43 The Village, respectively and the whole lot was described as follows:
A BLOCK OF
Thirteen Good Cottages & Gardens
Nos. 39 to 52 inclusive (except No. 50)
Having a total Area of about
1 acre, 2 roods, 22 poles
In the occupation of Tenants, at rents amounting to
Per £41 16s. 3d. Ann.
These Cottages which are situated in Silsoe, near the Church, are built partly of brick and partly of stud and plaster with tiled roofs, and contain
The following ACCOMMODATION
Nos. 39, 41, 47 and 49. Two Rooms down and Three up.
Nos. 40, 43, 44, 46 & 58. Two Rooms down and two up.
No. 41. Three Rooms Down and Four up.
Nos. 45 and 52. Three Rooms down and One up.
No. 51. Three Rooms down and One up.
Each cottage has a Barn and Earth Closet.
The water supply is from a Well with pump on this Lot, the joint use of which with the joint liability to repair, with the owner of Cottages Nos. 24, 25 and 50 is included with this Lot.
There is also a large soft Water Tank.
The Land Tax has been apportioned for the purposes of Sale at £2 6s. 6d.
This Lot is sold subject as to No. 44 [1 Church Road] to the life tenancy of that Cottage, Mrs. Mary King, who is stated to have been born on 19th July, 1832 and her Rent is £1 13s. per annum.
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 1 and 3 Church Road in 1927 [DV1/C236/55-56] found them both owned by John George Murray who, had bought much of the Wrest Park Estate including the mansion itself. He had bought all thirteen cottages in July 1919 for a combined sum of £585 to ensure they remained part of the estate.
Number 1 was in the occupation of F. G. Dear who paid 10½ d. per week for a living room, kitchen and two bedrooms. Number 3 was occupied by Claud Upton who paid £3/17/- per annum for a living room, kitchen and two bedrooms ("one small"). The valuer remarked that the rent should be £7 per annum.
In 1934 John George Murray tried, unsuccessfully, to sell the Wrest Park Estate. The sale particulars [AD1147/23] described 1 to 11 Church Road as follows.
Six Similar Cottages [to 21-29 High Street]
with varying accommodation, situate adjacent to the above being Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11, and having Outoffices and Gardens.
Now let to Messrs. F. Colyer, C. Upton, Mrs. Browning, Mr. C. Flint, Mr. J. Dennis and Miss Pratt on Monthly tenancies at rentals amounting to £39 16s. per annum.
Two Allotments in Cage Gardens are let to Messrs A. J. Lowings and A. White at rentals amounting to 12s. per annum.