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32 and 34 Church Road Tempsford

 32 Church End February 2016
32 Church Street February 2016

32 and 34 Church Street were listed by the former Department of Environment in August 1978 as Grade II, of special interest. They are reckoned to date from the late 17th or early 18th century, though re-worked and extended in the mid-19th century. The core of the building is timber-framed over which colour-washed roughcast render has been applied, the roofs are slated. The structure is built in an L-shape, one angle of three bays and the other of four. The entry notes: “Some substantial timber framing is exposed internally”.

In 1829 the Tempsford Estate was surveyed [X1/41 and WY1036/12]. The two cottages were then divided into three tenements, occupied by families named Mason, Reed and Corbett. The 1911 census tells us that Number 32 was by then a post office, occupied by Edward Ladds, his wife and three daughters.

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 two cottages found they were both still owned by the estate. Number 32 was still the post office, occupied by Edward Ladds. It contained two parlours, a living room,and the shop with two bedrooms upstairs. A barn stood outside and there was a garden. The shop was also a tobacconist and general store. Water came from a tap outside. The valuer commented: “On main road. Old Place. Neglect”. It was clearly two of the former three tenements knocked into one.

Number 34 was in occupation of Miss Hall. It contained a parlour, living room and two bedrooms. A washhouse and barn stood outside and there was a garden. Water, again, came from an outside tap.