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47 Cotton End Road Wilshamstead

47 Cotton End Road March 2013
47 Cotton End Road March 2013

47 Cotton End Road is an unassuming 19th century private house. It has a slightly more interesting past than some, however, as, for many years it was a bakery.

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. Like most of the county, Wilshamstead was largely assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting 47 Cotton End Road found that it was a bakery, owned and occupied by Thomas Richardson [DV1/C65/49].

The property comprised a parlour, a living room and a kitchen with three bedrooms upstairs. The bakehouse, measuring 14 feet by 10 feet and with a five bushel oven (“was six bushel oven”), stood outside along with a washhouse measuring 8 feet by 10 feet, a stable and an old barn.

Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years from the early to mid 19th century until 1940. Thomas Richardson is listed in directories as a baker from 1894 to 1936. The final directory for the county, 1940, lists T. Richardson & Son, so evidently the old man was considering at least semi-retirement.