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Saddlers Cottage - 21 Church Square Toddington

21 Church Square March 2016
21 Church Square March 2016

Saddler's Cottage was listed by the former Department of the Environment in 1980 as Grade II, of special interest. This 17th century building is timber-framed with plaster infill, with colour-washed brick and an old clay tile roof. It is described as of one storey with attics, with an extensively altered gable end facing the road.  There is an oriel window to the first floor, a bow window to the ground floor, and the house has decorated bargeboards and a finial.

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. At this time the property now known as Saddler's Cottage was a harness maker's shop (hence the modern name) owned and occupied by Edgar Hattill Fox. The shop measured 12½ feet by 13½ feet with a living room and scullery downstairs, three bedrooms upstairs, and a store, barn and earth closet outside. The valuer described it as a "nice shop" [DV1/C85/145]. Fox was a chorister at the church [P8/28/13/9].

The Fox family were in business at the address for around a century. Directories for Bedfordshire were published every few years from 1847 to 1940. the first directory lists Fredercick Fox as saddler and he continues to be listed unti l1864. In 1869 the listing is for Frederick Fox and Son. From 1869 the listing is for Frederick alone anf from 1885 it is for George Fox. In 1910 Fanny Rebecca Fox is listed, presumably George's widow the from 1914 to 1940 the listing is for Edgar Hattill Fox.