Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community Histories > Upper Gravenhurst > Chestnut Tree House Upper Gravenhurst

Chestnut Tree House Upper Gravenhurst

Chestnut Tree House February 2016
Chestnut Tree House February 2016

Chestnut Tree House was listed by English Heritage in March 1990 as Grade II, of special interest. The house originally had an outbuilding which is now part of the house. It is dated as 17th century, with additions - “probably late 18th century and 19th century”. It was restored between 1982 and 1985. The structure is timber-framed with brick infill and plaster rendered. More modern parts are in brick. It has a plain tiled roof and comprises two storeys except for the 19th century former outbuilding which has a single storey. The plan is complex. There are two short wings on the south-west side, the southern one probably being 18th century. There are paired brick wings in the centre, the left-hand one being 19th century the right-hand one 18th century

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 house [DV1/C214/26] found that it was owned by R Parish, possibly Reuben Parish of Cart's Farm, and occupied by C Walker, though another hand, perhaps mistakenly, has written C A White, the shopkeeper at 39 High Street. The rent was £12 per annum, noted as “family”. The property contained a living room, a pantry, a kitchen, a “room not used” and three bedrooms. There was also a “very old cottage as store” and an old stable. The valuer commented: “Old property - poor repair but roof sound. Garden big”.The property stood in over half an acre.

Chestnut Tree House as the post office about 1900 [Z760/1/4]
Chestnut Tree House as post office about 1900 [Z760/1/4]

A postcard from about 1900 shows us that Chestnut Tree house was the village post office at the time and that it had formerly been the Bell Public House, of which few records survive [Z760/1/4]. The village postmaster around 1900 was none other than Reuben Parish