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Manor Farmhouse Swineshead

Manor Farmhouse May 2008
Manor Farmhouse May 2008

Manor Farmhouse was listed by the former Department of Environment in 1964 as Grade II, of special interest. The first part of the building dates to around 1600 with significant additions in the 18th century. The building is constructed of red brick over a timber frame and the oldest part stands gable end on to the road. This oldest part of the house consists of two storeys, a later single storey with attics was added to the west and in the mid 18th century a two storey double-pile block was added to the east. From the road the building is quite a jumble with differing roof heights.

Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service does not have any old material on Manor Farm, the earliest thing being from 1927 when Swineshead was valued under the terms of the Rating and Valuation Act 1925; every piece of land and building in the country was assessed to determine the rates to be paid on it. The valuer visiting Manor Farm [DV1/H52/50] noted that it was both owned and occupied by J.T.Stewart and so clearly was no longer a part of the Manor lands. The farm comprised 144 acres. The valuer noted: "Saw Mr.Stewart said his homestead was next to a good road and he had a very good water supply" The valuer himself commented: "Homestead bad. House all right"

The house was described as comprising two reception rooms, a kitchen, scullery and dairy and an old office, with five bedrooms upstairs. The valuer noted: "water from well in yard". An earth closet stood outside.

 Outbuildings at Manor Farm in 1984
Outbuildings at Manor Farm in 1984 [Z50/120/24]

The homestead consisted of:

  • east: a brick, wood and slate trap house; a brick, wood and thatch chaff barn; a barn with a half brick floor; a brick, concrete and tile two bay cart shed; a brick and tile granary;
  • west: a wood and tile loose box; a brick, wood and tile cow house for five beasts; two brick and tile pigsties; a loose box; a four bay hovel; a food store; a stable for four horses; a loose box in the stable; another loose box; two henhouses; two brick and corrugated iron pigsties; a wood and tile henhouse; a wood and corrugated iron root house.