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13 and 14 Market Place Woburn

13 and 14 Market Place May 2012
13 and 14 Market Place May 2012

13 and 14 Market Place is a slightly unusual building in that it has a semi-circular north end, which almost makes it look like a streamlined vessel heading north up Bedford Street! The building was listed by the former Ministry of Works in January 1961 as Grade II, of special interest. It was formerly numbered as 6 and 7 High Street.

The property dates from the mid 18th century, though it was reworked in the 19th century. It is built of brownish-red bricks, some of the vitrified. It comprises two storeys and attics beneath a roof covered in 20th century tiles. At the time of writing the building is Questor Woburn Bridal Boutique.

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 13 and 14 Market Place [DV1/C137/5] noted that, like most of Woburn, it was owned by the Duke of Bedford’s London and Devon Estates Company. The tenant was William Janes (“Cycle Accessories, Watchmaker, Jeweller, Tobacconist, Photo Supplier”) whose rent was £13 per annum.

Accommodation comprised a shop measuring 11 feet 3 inches by 15 feet and a living room measuring 11 feet by 10 feet on the ground floor. Two bedrooms measuring, respectively, 10 feet 9 inches by 10 feet 6 inches and 11 feet 9 inches by 9 feet 6 inches lay on the first floor with two attics above. Outside stood a barn, a W. C. and two small greenhouses.

Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years from the early to mid 19th century until 1940. Janes Brothers is listed as a watchmaker at 7 High Street in directories of 1928, 1931, 1936 and 1940. Previously the listing was for William Janes, watchmaker, who appears in directories of 1898, 1903, 1906, 1910, 1914, 1920 and 1924.