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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 3rd February, 1950, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Links With Old Rushden
Buildings Will Be Protected

Two Rushden buildings, erected during the Elizabethan period and at one time part of Squire Sartoris' estate, have been selected as buildings of architectural and historical interest and are to be protected under the Town and Country Planning Act. One is a shop in High Street South, and the other is Manor Farm, in Bedford Road.

The shop, now occupied by Miss Florence Simpson, modiste, was the first shop to be opened in Rushden village. It was a general store from the early days up to the 1870s, and old Rushden residents remember spending their pocket money there on sweets when the tenant was Robert Octavius Butcher, who also had a brick and tile business.

Florence Simpson's
Florence Simpson's 22 High Street South
This was once Rushden's only shop, and, as a general store, had to cater for the needs of all
the "villagers".

It is a typical Elizabethan structure, with oak beams, high ceilings, small windows and eaves, and it still has a thatched roof. There is some doubt about the actual date of the building, but a stone found in the wall during repairs bears initials, apparently those of a workman, and the date ?

Secret Passage

Miss Simpson told us of rumours of an old passage, which ran from underneath the building up to Rushden Hall but nothing has ever been found to prove or disprove it.

A description of the building as a "charming old-world stone-built and thatched house and shop" is included in the catalogue of the sale of Mr. A. H. Sartoris' property, dated December 13th, 1929.

The title deeds show that the first three occupants of the house were Thomas Scarborough, James Averill and ? Parker.

The Manor Farm contains many historical emblems, as well as having great architectural interest. It stands at right-angles to Bedford Road, but of course there was no road there when it was built. The actual front of the house faces towards Bedford.

English Rose

On one wall, with the date ?, is the English Rose, and a carving of three feathers, the emblem of the Prince of Wales, signifying that a prince once slept at the house. On another wall is an Insurance badge, of which there are very few examples left in England, and offers of over of £20 have been made for it. In ancient times, when there were no insurance companies, farmers formed their own societies and produced their own badges. Then, in cases of emergency, they turned out to help any farmer who bore on his house their own sign.

Manor Farm
Manor Farm in Bedford Road

The building contains an ..?.. room, on the ground floor, which is in a very good state of preservation. In the side of the room there is a small ..?..window, which looks out on to the passage which runs the length of the house. It is understood that this room was used as a confession room ..?..religious body in the ..?..teenth century.

Upstairs there are two very ..?..rooms, which were used as powder rooms by the ladies of the household.

The only remains of a wall which used completely to surround the house and farm buildings are at the front of the house, and a stream, which may once have been a moat, cuts off the premises from the road, so that a bridge has had to be built across.

The new Act, under which the houses have been recognised, requires that the owners must give at least two months' notice to the Ministry of any intention to demolish the buildings or alter them in any way that would affect their character.

However, owners of both premises have no such intention, and have tried to keep them as near to their original state as possible.

Mrs. E. E. Newell, who lives at the farm with her husband and brothers, told us that she was going to start polishing up her history, so that she could cope with any inquiries from interested visitors.

Two other buildings which have also been selected by the Ministry are the Parish Church of St. Mary, and Rushden Hall.

[This newspaper has been filmed after being bound into a large volume, and the edge of the page is missed]

Extract from Council Meeting 19th February 1950

Notice was received that the Minister of Town and Country Planning has listed as buildings of special architectural or historical interest for protection under the Town and Country Planning Act, St. Mary’s Church, Manor Farm, Bedford Road, Rushden Hall, and No. 22 High Street South.

Hilly Farm, Bedford Road, Nos. 20 and 22, Bedford Road, and St. Mary’s Vestry Hall will be safeguarded by the local planning authority.

Of the second group, Coun. A. A. Allebone reported: “The County Council will keep an eye on them and see that they are not spoilt.”

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