15 High Street - nearest the camera - March 2011
15 High Street stands at the southern end of a row which stretches north up the High Street as far as Number 29 and then around the corner to form 1 and 3 Church Road. The cottage was listed by the former Department of Environment in January 1985 as Grade II, of special interest. The department dated the property to the later 19th century. It is built in typical Victorian yellow brick, though the front is colour washed. The building has a clay tile roof and two storeys storeys. It was "included for group value".
A map drawn up for the 2nd Earl de Grey in 1856 [L33/12/13] shows that 15 High Street was in the occupation of Richard Hudson. The house was part of the Wrest Park Estate sold by auction in 1919 [L23/1000/1]. 15, 17 and 21 to 29 High Street with 1 to 11 Church Road formed Lot 7. 15 High Street was then numbered 52 The Village, the block is described as follows:
A BLOCK OF
Thirteen Good Cottages & Gardens
Nos. 39 to 52 inclusive (except No. 50)
Having a total Area of about
1 acre, 2 roods, 22 poles
In the occupation of Tenants, at rents amounting to
Per £41 16s. 3d. Ann.
These Cottages which are situated in Silsoe, near the Church, are built partly of brick and partly of stud and plaster with tiled roofs, and contain
The following ACCOMMODATION
Nos. 39, 41, 47 and 49. Two Rooms down and Three up.
Nos. 40, 43, 44, 46 & 58. Two Rooms down and two up.
No. 41. Three Rooms Down and Four up
Nos. 45 and 52. Three Rooms down and One up.
No. 51. Three Rooms down and One up.
Each cottage has a Barn and Earth Closet.
The water supply is from a Well with pump on this Lot, the joint use of which with the joint liability to repair, with the owner of Cottages Nos. 24, 25 and 50 is included with this Lot.
There is also a large soft Water Tank.
The Land Tax has been apportioned for the purposes of Sale at £2 6s. 6d.
And subject also as to No. 52 [15 High Street] to the Tenants of that Cottage, Mr. Edward Hines (who is stated to have been born on 9th March, 1843) and his wife Mrs. Elizabeth Hines (who is stated to have been born on 15th July, 1843), and the survivor of them, and their rent is £3 per annum.
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 15 High Street [DV1/C236/46] found it owned, like much of the village, by the owner of WrestPark, John George Murray. He had bought all thirteen cottages in July 1919 for a combined sum of £585 to ensure they remained part of the estate. It was occupied by John Land rent free; presumably he worked on the Wrest Park Estate.
Accommodation comprised a living room and kitchen with three bedrooms above. A weather-boarded and tiled barn stood outside. The valuer commented: "Best of row, not on pavement" and "Very good, Estate type".