Orchard Cottage Souldrop
Orchard Cottage April 2015
Orchard Cottage was listed by English Heritage in August 1987 as Grade II, of special interest. It dates from the 18th century and is built of local limestone rubble, with a slate roof. It has been modernised over the years.
By 1922 the cottage formed part of the Colworth Estate, which was put up for sale by auction in that year. It had probably always been part of the Manor of Souldrop. The sale particulars [Z1246/1] describe it as “an excellent cottage holding” comprising 7 acres, 3 roods. “included is a superior detached cottage in occupation of an Estate employee on a Service Tenancy, built of stone, partly ivy clad, with slated roof, containing Sitting Room, Kitchen with inglenook fireplace, Scullery with copper, Larder, with Landing and two Bedrooms. Outside Woolshed. Good Garden and Orchard together with a capital meadow and piece of woodland”. The whole estate was withdrawn as not sold and offered again in 1924 [Z1323/1/4].
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 property [DV1/C167/5] found that it was owned by a man named Skevington and occupied by E C Till whose rent, set in 1927, was ten shillings per week. This included an orchard of just under half an acre (“useful trees” commented the valuer).
Accommodation comprised two parlours, a kitchen and scullery with three bedrooms upstairs. A barn and earth closet stood outside. Water provision was “rainwater only” but there was a “good garden” and the valuer commented: “Lovely”.