7 to 11 Holly Walk Silsoe
7 to 11 Holly Walk October 2011
7 t o 11 Holly Walk is a short row of attractive, thatched cottages. They were listed by the former Department of Environment in January 1985 as Grade II, of special interest. The department dated the row to the 17th century and noted: "apparently subdivided from a single property". It should be noted that a map produced for a rental survey for the Duke of Kent in 1718 [L33/286 folio 11] does not show the row of cottages, though that may mean that he did not own them rather than that they did not then exist.
The cottages are constructed from colour-washed roughcast render over a timber frame. The main part of the row is thatched and has two storeys. Tiled single storeyed additions stand at both gable ends.
The cottages must have been bought by the Wrest Park Estate in the 18th or 19th centuries. Though they are not shown ona map drawn up for the 2nd Earl de Grey in 1856 [L33/12/13] they were certainly owned by the 9th Baron Lucas of Crudwell before the First World War.
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 cottages [DV1/C236/71-73] found them all owned by Miss L. M. Eve. She had bought them from Nan Ino, 10th Baroness Lucas in July 1918 for £225 [L23/237].
Miss Eve occupied Number 9 herself. It comprised a living room, kitchen and two bedrooms along with a barn and a washhouse which was shared by the occupants of all three dwellings in the row.
Number 7 was occupied Arthur Morgan who paid£3/10/- per annum for a living room, kitchen and two bedrooms ("one small") with a barn outside and a share of the washhouse. The valuer commented: "Very, very nice". Number 11 was occupied by F. J. Fennemore who paid £4 per annum for a living room, kitchen, two bedrooms, a barn and a share of the washhouse.