21 to 25 High Street March 2011
21 to 25 High Street lie in the middle of a row of cottages, 15 to 29 High Street which run northwards up the High Street and then turn the corner to become 1 and 3 Church Road. The three cottages were listed by the former Department of Environment in January 1961 as Grade II, of special interest. The department dated the properties to the 18th century with 19th century alterations.
The row is timber-framed: Number 21 has colour-washed brick infill; Number 23 has colour-washed rubble facing and Number 25 colour-washed brick facing. All have clay tile roofs. A map drawn up for the 2nd Earl de Grey in 1856 [L33/12/13] shows that 21 High Street was in the occupation of William Worker, 23 by John Lowings and 25 by James Studman.
The properties were part of the Wrest Park Estate sold by auction in 1919 [L23/1000/1]: 15, 17 and 21 to 29 High Street with 1- 11 Church Road formed Lot 7. 21 to 25 High Street were then numbered 49 to 47 The Village, respectively and are 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.
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 21 to 25 High Street [DV1/C236/50-52] found them owned by the new owner of Wrest, John George Murray. He had bought all thirteen cottages in July 1919 for a combined sum of £585 to ensure they remained part of the Wrest Park Estate.
Number 21 was occupied by Mrs. S. Everitt who paid rent of £4/9/- per annum for a living room, kitchen and three bedrooms. The pre-war rent had been £3/10/- per annum. A brick and tiled barn and an ash pit lay outside. She also rented an allotment of 0.058 of an acre nearby.
Number 23 was occupied by James Mann who also paid rent of £4/9/- per annum, increased from £3/10/- per annum pre-war. His accommodation comprised a living room and kitchen with two bedrooms above. Again he had a brick and tiled barn and an ash pit outside and had an allotment nearby, this one of 0.065 of an acre.
Number 25 was in the occupation of William Walker junior who paid rent of £5/3/6 per annum, increased fro £4/1/8 before the Great War. His accommodation comprised a living room and kitchen with three bedrooms above. A brick and tiled barn and washhouse and an ash pit lay outside. His nearby allotment of land was 0.223 acres.
In 1934 John George Murray tried, unsuccessfully, to sell the Wrest Park Estate. Numbers 21 to 29 High Street were described thus [AD1147/23].
Five brick, Stucco and Tiled Cottages
situate opposite the Church and being Nos. 21, 23, 25, 27 and 29, containing Two downstair Rooms with either Two or Three Bed Rooms, together with Gardens and Outoffices.
No. 27 is vacant, and the remainder are let to Messrs. C. Fry, J. Mann, W. Walker Junior and A. T. White on Monthly Tenancies at rentals amounting to £34 6s. 6d. per annum.