43 High Street Silsoe
43 High Street in 1961 [Z53/104/10]
43 High Street was listed by the former Department of Environment in January 1961 as Grade II, of special interest. The department dated the property to the 17th century "reworked 19th century". It is of timber-framed construction, partly with colour-washed roughcast render, partly exposed with colour-washed brick infill. The ground floor of the front elevation has been rebuilt in colour-washed brick. The roof has clay tiles. A lean-to addition stands to the rear.
The property seems never to have formed part of the Wrest Park Estate and was known as Village Farm. 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 Village Farm [DV1/C236/89] found that it was owned by Miss L. M. Eve and occupied by Edward Briston, who paid rent of £50 per annum.
His house comprised a reception room, a parlour, a kitchen and five bedrooms above. There were also two cellars, a shed, a larder and a cooling shed ("small, not used") outside. Another hand has annotated the description to add a brick, wood and tiled barn with a gravel floor, used as a garage. The valuer noted that there was a "very big slope at the back" so clearly the roof came down at a sharp angle. He also noted: "Part at back newer than front, right on pavement". The entry is also annotated with the word "Teas" so it looks as if Briston ran a tea shop on the premises.
43 High Street March 2011