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3 Well Head Road Totternhoe

3 Wellhead Road January 2010
3 Well Head Road January 2010

3 Well Head Road is an older building than might at first appear. It is not a listed building and the Bedfordshire Historic Environment Records [HER 6507] states: "Bruce Cottage is a c.18th century timber-framed cottage, considerably altered and extended in the 20th century. The eaves have been raised, the thatch has been replaced by wooden shingles and the walls have been faced in roughcast, brick and weatherboarding. In view of the extent of alteration Bruce cottage does not fulfil the critea for listing"

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). The property was then two cottages, owned by Henry Snoxell and occupied by J. Snoxell and Mary Snoxell, standing in fourteen poles of land.

A similar survey was carried out in 1840 and by that date Edward Snoxell was the owner, living in one of the properties himself. The 1841 census reveals that Snoxell was a shoe maker, about 40 years old, living with him were William Philpot, about 30 and an agricultural labourer and his wife Charlotte, also about 30.

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 3 Well Head Road [DV1/C101/32] found it was then called "Chaumière", owned and occupied by R. Barcock. The brick and thatched building comprised a living room and combined kitchen and scullery downstairs with two bedrooms above and was "very poor". A weather-boarded and thatched barn stood outside. The valuer commented: "Bedrooms very low and small windows".