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28 Well Head Road Totternhoe

28 Wellhead Road January 2010
28 Well Head Road January 2010

28 Well Head Road was listed by the former Department of Environment in September 1980 as Grade II, of special interest. The listing dates it to the 17th or 18th century. It is built of red brick and has two storeys beneath an old clay tile roof.

In 1829, following the death of the Earl of Bridgewater, his estate in Totternhoe was surveyed [BW1004]. The survey also included every building in the parish, whether owned by the estate or not (and at that date most were not). At that date 28 Well Head Road was two cottages, owned by Daniel Twidell and occupied by James Seabrook and William Kempson, standing in fifteen poles of land.

A similar survey was carried out in 1840 and by that date "Reuben Hutchins and others" were tenants, Twidell still being the owner. The 1841 census reveals that Reuben Hutchins was aged about 20 and an agricultural labourer living with his wife Sarah, also about 20 and their seven month old son, Joseph. Next door was Judith Purton, aged about 40, a straw plaiter living with Henry Gardner, 9, also straw plaiter. It is just possible that a third family were also living in the building, though this is conjecture based on the order of the census - Thomas Field was about 25 and an agricultural labourer. living with his wife Elizabeth, about 30 and their children Ann, 3 and James, 1.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every piece of land and property in the country should be valued to determine its rateable value. Totternhoe, like much of Bedfordshire, was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting 28 Well Head Road [DV1/C101/43] discovered that it was owned and occupied by Fred Heley. The brick and slate property comprised a living room, kitchen and two sculleries downstairs with three bedrooms above. Two sheds lay outside. The valuer commented: "Nice".