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11 Market Place Woburn

11 and 12 Market Place May 2012
11 and 12 Market Place May 2012

11 Market Place was listed by the former Ministry of Works in October 1952 as Grade II*, a particularly important building of special interest. It was formerly numbered as 4 High Street. The property dates from the early 18th century, perhaps a replacement for a building destroyed in Woburn’s great fire of June 1724. The shop front is reckoned to date from the late 18th century. The building is constructed from red brick; the walls are darker red, with many vitrified headers, the detailing is in lighter red brick. The shallow pitched roof is slated. The building comprises three storeys and, at the time of writing [2017] is a licensed premises - Woburn Ale House.

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. Woburn, like much of the county was valued in 1927 and the valuer visiting 11 Market Place [DV1/C137/114] found that it, like most of the town, was owned by the Duke of Bedford’s London and Devon Estates Company. The tenant was William E. Turney who, as Turney & Sons, was a grocer. His rent was £30 per annum.

Ground floor accommodation included a shop divided into two and measuring 17 feet by 15 feet and 14 feet 6 inches by 10 feet. A wine store measured 9 feet by 7 feet 6 inches, a living room measured 14 feet 6 inches by 13 feet and there was also a kitchen and a W. C. The first floor comprised a reception room measuring 12 feet 6 inches by 14 feet 6 inches, a box room and two bedrooms measuring, respectively 10 feet by 14 feet and 10 feet 3 inches by 7 feet. The second floor contained three bedrooms (“good”), a lavatory (in the sense of a place to wash) and W. C. A washhouse stood outside along with two store sheds, a trap house and four stables with a warehouse above. The valuer noted that there was also a cellar and commented that the first floor was reached “through passage from road”.

Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years from the early to mid 19th century until 1940. They reveal that Turney and Sons were listed in 1910, 1914, 1920, 1924, 1928, 1931, 1936 and 1940. Previously the property had been listed as George Turney, grocer, in directories of 1877, 1885, 1890, 1894, 1898, 1903 and 1906. An Abraham Turney was listed as a grocer in the High Street and, presumably, in the same premises, in directories of 1864 and 1869 showing that the property was a grocer's shop in the occupation of the Turney family for at least 75 years.