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Smithy Cottage Yelden

Smithy Cottage February 2014
Smithy Cottage February 2014

Smithy Cottage is not a listed building. Nevertheless it appears to be old and may be half-timbered, albeit with colour-washed roughcast render. It has a thatched roof. Its origins may go back as far as the 18th or 17th centuries.

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 [DV1/C190/21] found it owned by farmer W Whitehead and occupied by Archibald Ford whose rent was £15 per annum. The building comprised a living room, kitchen, scullery and three bedrooms. A brick and tiled cart lodge with a loft over and a stable for one horse stood outside. The valuer commented: "Has been re-faced. Big". The smithy was made of brick and tile and measured 13 feet by 16 feet 6 inches, the valuer commenting "Useful smithy probably good business". A shoeing shed measuring 14 feet by 16 feet 6 inches. This was a "very low poor place".

Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years from the early to mid-19th century until 1940. Smiths for Yelden are recorded as follows:

  • 1847, 1853: William Wagstaff;
  • 1853, 1854: John Richardson;
  • 1864: Samuel Tirrell;
  • 1876, 1885, 1890, 1894: Robert Carter;
  • 1876: Thomas Wagstaff;
  • 1898, 1910, 1914: John Albert Wicks;
  • 1920, 1924, 1928, 1931, 1936, 1940: Archibald Ford.