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Dalton Cottage Upper Dean

Dalton Cottage May 2011
Dalton Cottage May 2011

Dalton Cottage stands in the High Street adjoining the churchyard. It was listed by the former Department of Environment in August 1983 as Grade II, of special interest. The department dated the property to about 1700. It is built of colour-washed roughcast over a timber frame with a 20th century colour-washed brick extension at the south end. The cottage is thatched and comprises a single storey with attics.

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. It is likely that Dean, like most of the rest of the county was assessed in 1927. The valuer visiting Daltons Cottage [DV1/C150/83] found it owned, not surprisingly, by Fitzgerald Verity Dalton, J. P., who lived at Dean House. The tenant was S. Bradley who paid £4 per annum in rent.

The property comprised a living room and kitchen downstairs with two bedrooms above. A coal barn stood outside. The valuer commented: “very low, poor place”.

Next door was also owned by F. V. Dalton and was tenanted by Edward Tuffnail, the village smith, who paid rent of £10 per annum. The brick and slate property comprised two living rooms, a kitchen and a pantry with two bedrooms above. A small shop measuring 7 feet 6 inches by 9 feet 6 inches was attached and a barn stood outside, a shoeing shed and the smithy itself were adjacent. The valuer commented “Very low, but deep, poor place”.

Kellys Directory for Bedfordshire for 1928 lists William Tuffnail as blacksmith. Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has a number of directories for the county dating from 1839 to 1940. These give some details of names and addresses of prominent people in each parish. The following list has been compiled for  blacksmiths, who may all have occupied the property adjoining Dalton Cottage or may have been elsewhere. County directories were only published every few years and so the dates in the list simply include the first and last reference to a particular individual residing at a property.

  • 1847: William Sykes;
  • 1854-1877: Thomas Sykes;
  • 1885: Martin Brown, and post office;
  • 1894-1924: Edward Tuffnail;
  • 1928-1931: William Tuffnail;
  • 1936-1940: William Herbert Tuffnail.