Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community Histories > Silsoe > 36 Ampthill Road Silsoe

36 Ampthill Road Silsoe

36 Ampthill Road March 2011
36 Ampthill Road March 2011

36 Ampthill Road is an attractive thatched cottage partially obscured by a tall hedge. On seeing it is thatched one would be mistaken for thinking it belongs to the 17th or 18th centuries. In fact, when it was listed by the former Department of Environment in January 1985 as Grade II, of special interest, it was dated to the early 19th century.

The listing describes the cottage as a "small building in a picturesque style". It is built from red brick in an L-shape with a semi-octagonal block projecting from centre of the front wing. It comprises one storey and attics.

It was leased, along with The Red House on 25th December 1828 by the trustees of the will of John Edwards to J. R. Henderson of Middlesex [L5/949-950]. Henderson sold the unexpired term of the lease in December 1831 for £310 to Thomas Philip Weddell, Lord Grantham, later 2nd Earl de Grey.

In 1855 both 36 Ampthill Road and the Red House were sold by the trustees of Edwards' will to Earl de Grey [L5/970]. A map drawn up for the Earl [L33/12/13] shows that 36 Ampthill Road was tenanted by John Eddey.

In December 1916 the 9th Baron Lucas of Crudwell, then owner of the Wrest Park Estate, was killed in action with the Royal Flying Corps on the Western Front. His sister, Nan Ino, 10th Baroness Lucas of Crudwell then began breaking up and selling the estate.

36 Ampthill Road occurs in the 1919 sale particulars of part of the Wrest Park Estate. The house formed part of Lot 11, along with The Red House, and was described as follows:

Picturesque Thatched Cottage

situated at the end of the meadow, with good Garden and a Well of Water. It is at present let to Mr. Daniel Odell, on a Yearly Tenancy, terminable by six months' notice, and at the Rent of £3 10s. per annum. There is a Land Tax of 3s. on this Cottage and Garden.

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 36 Ampthill Road found it owned by Sir Charles Delmé-Radcliffe, who had bought it, along with The Red House, in 1919, and still occupied by Daniel Odell who paid rent of £3/10/- per annum, the same as the rent paid before the Great War.

The cottages had a "Fine thatched roof" which "overhangs like a lodge" and comprised a living room and kitchen. One bedroom and a boxroom occupied the roof. A weather-boarded and thatched washhouse and a brick and slated earth closet stood outside. The valuer commented: "Very nice little place".

In 2013 the cottage was for sale. The particulars [Z449/6/28] detailed a ground floor comprising: a kitchen/breakfast room measuring 15 feet 2 inches by 14 feet 8 inches; a bathroom; a W. C.; a bedroom measuring 12 feet by 10 feet; a dining room measuring 12 feet by 11 feet 5 inches and a sitting room measuring 11 feet 2 inches by 14 feet and 12 feet by 11 feet 5 inches. The first floor had a study measuring 9 feet 8 inches by 6 feet 11 inches and two bedrooms measuring, respectively: 14 feet by 11 feet 5 inches and 10 feet 5 inches by 10 feet 2 inches. Outside, in a quarter acre plot, were a double garage with a room above measuring 22 feet 3 inches by 11 feet 7 inches, a terrace, decking, a koi pond with a water feature, a summerhouse and two sheds.