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31 to 37 West End Road Silsoe

31 and 33 West End Road March 2011
31 and 33 West End Road March 2011

31 to 37 West End Road was listed by the former Department of Environment in January 1985 as Grade II, of special interest. The department dated the cottages to the early 19th century. They may have been designed by Thomas Philip, 2nd Earl de Grey who was a noted amateur architect.

They are built of red brick with some vitrified headers and have a half-
hipped thatched roof. The row is built in an L-plan comprising one storey and
attics. Entrances are by the gable ends and the rear wing.

A map drawn up for the 2nd Earl de Grey in 1856 [L33/12/13] shows that the cottages were then laid out differently, in two parallel rows of three. Together with four cottages on the site of today's 27 and 29 West End Road occupiers were: Richard Peddar; Widow Cherry; James Sutton; Mary Mann; Widow Eddey; Henry Bell; John Croxford; William Swannell junior; George King and Joel Arnold.

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 the row [DV1/C236/28-31] found each of the four cottages in the L-shaped block was owned by the Trustees for the Poor of the Parish who, had, presumably, bought them from the Wrest Park Estate when it was being broken up and sold off by Nan Ino, 10th Baroness Lucas in 1918 and 1919.

Number 31 was vacant. The rent had been £4 per annum when it was occupied and accommodation comprised a living room, a scullery and two bedrooms. A weather-boarded and corrugated iron barn stood outside. The valuer noted: "Mrs. Morgan coming in".

Number 33 was in the occupation of P. Freeman. He also paid £4 per annum for exactly the same accommodation. Number 35 was tenanted by F. Bunker who paid six guineas per annum for a living room, a kitchen and a scullery with two small bedrooms above. The valuer noted that it had once been two cottages. A barn and a motor cycle shed stood outside.

Number 35 was occupied by Victor Lomax. He paid £4/10/- per annum for a living room and a scullery, with a bedroom in the roof. The valuer noted that the cottage was "very small".

35 and 37 West End Road March 2011
35 and 37 West End Road March 2011