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34 to 38 George Street Woburn

34 to 38 George Street March 2012
34 to 38 George Street March 2012

34 to 38 George Street were listed by English Heritage in March 1987 as Grade II, of special interest. The row formerly comprised five cottages of which today’s 36 and 38 date from the 18th century, with the front elevation raised by the addition of a top storey in the 19th century. Number 34, formerly a pair of houses, dates from the early 19th century. The 18th century fabric is red brick, the 19th century is red and yellow brick in a chequerwork pattern. The roofs are covered with slates.

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 34 to 38 George Street [DV1/C126/5-8] found that today’s 34 was then two cottages, both owned by Harry Fisher. The northernmost half was occupied by John Smith who paid 3/6 per week for a living room and kitchen with two bedrooms above and an attic above that. A coal barn and earth closet stood outside. Lighting was by oil lamps but the cottage had mains water supply. The southern half of today’s property was in the occupation of Harry Edward Chubb whose rent was four shillings per week. This was because although his accommodation was otherwise identical he had gas lighting.

Numbers 36 and 38 were also owned by Harry Fisher. Number 36 was leased to Joseph Pickering for 3/6 per week and comprised a living room, a kitchen and a scullery with three bedrooms above. A washhouse and earth closet together with a coal barn stood outside. Again, lighting was by oil lamps. The valuer commented: “Seems to have been two”.

Number 38 was in the occupation of Ernest Gates whose rent was three shillings per week for a living room, a kitchen and two bedrooms. The coal barn, washhouse and earth closet were shared with Joseph Pickering and the property was also oil lamp lit, however there was “water laid on”. The valuer commented: “Upstairs poor”.