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Rosemary Cottage Whipsnade

Rosemary Cottage March 2012
Rosemary Cottage March 2012

Rosemary Cottage was listed by the former Department of Environment in September 1980 as Grade II, of special interest. It dates from the 18th century "or earlier". The property comprises one storey with attics beneath a thatched roof. The structure is colourwashed brick with weather-boarding on the right-hand side. The interior is timber-framed.

In December 1915 the second auction of Pedley Settled Estates land took place by direction of the executors of the late Arthur Macnamara. It included 2,050 acres in Eaton Bray, Whipsnade, Totternhoe, Studham and Caddington as well as the Hertfordshire parishes of Markyate and Flamstead. Lot 1 in the sale particulars [Z214/3] included Rosemary Cottage. It was described as a freehold smallholding of 6 acres, 2 roods, 5 perches.

The cottage was described as containing three rooms upstairs and two down, with a washhouse, pantry and garden as well as a timber and slated stable and trap house and a poultry yard. The holding allowed the owned to graze a cow on Whipsnade Green. The land included 1 acre, 1 rood, 16 perches of pasture, 2 acres, 2 roods, 2 perches of arable and 1 acre, 22 perches of allotment gardens. The cottage and its garden took up 1 rood, 35 perches. It was let to H. Sinfield at a rent of £20/13/4 per annum.

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 cottage, on 9th December 1926 [DV1/C98/6] found it was called Dell Cottage and that it was owned and occupied by E. K. Blyth, originator of the tree cathedral.

Downstairs comprised a reception room, a kitchen and a scullery. There were three bedrooms in the attics. Outside stood and weather-boarded and slated outhouse, a weather-boarded and thatched lean-to coal house attached to the cottage and a weather-boarded fowl house and pigsty (“neglect”). Water came from a well.