Wingfield Buildings

The History of Buildings in Wingfield

There are a wide variety of buildings in Tebworth,Wingfield, and Chalgrave that have a rich and interesting history.

36 Tebworth Road
36 Tebworth Road, Wingfield (2013)
36 Tebworth Road, Wingfield (2013)

36 Tebworth Road stands well back and, until the latter half of the 20th century, had a Methodist chapel standing between it and the road (see below). It was listed by the Department of Environment in 1980 as Grade II, of special interest.

The house is considered to date from the late 17th or early 18th century, though it has a 19th century extension. It is timber-framed and brick built and covered with render, with a slate roof. It has a cross-wing with a single bay extension at the east end. The property comprises two storeys and has a blocked original window in the upper storey.

In 1926 the valuer visiting the property found that it was then two dwellings, both owned by J. Kingham. The western home was occupied by H. Cooper who paid three shillings rent per week. E. Fossey lived in the other end and paid the same rent.

Both parts of the building each comprised a living room and scullery with two bedrooms above. A brick and slate earth closet and barn stood outside.


Pond Farm
Pond Farm, Wingfield (2013)
Pond Farm, Wingfield (2013)

Pond Farm was listed by the Department of Environment in September 1980 as Grade II, of special interest. The date 1699 is written on a panel on the first floor of the south elevation along with the letters CSA. The building is of chequered brick and comprises two storeys beneath an old clay tiled roof. It is built in an L-shape and the east wing has exposed timber-framing to the north gable end. There is a brick band between floors

In 1926 the valuer visited Pond Farm and found the owner and occupier was George Pratt and the farm comprised 86 acres.

The valuer noted: “House at present is occupied by Smith who has paid no rent and is going to leave. House old. 1699. Buildings fair”.Another hand has written: “Big but ordinary”. The house comprised two reception rooms, a kitchen, a scullery, a dairy and a parlour with four bedrooms and a boxroom on the first floor. Outside stood a brick and tile earth closet and a weather-boarded and tiled coal barn

The homestead comprised: a brick, weather-boarded and corrugated iron stable for three horses; a chaff place; a barn; a loose box; a two-bay cart house; a brick, weather-boarded and corrugated iron cow house for eight beasts; a mixing house; a cowhouse for four; a stable for two and a trap and cooling house.

Directories reveal that by 1931 the tenants were Herbert and his daughter Constance Keen. A lease of 1st May 1935 is from George Ambrose Pratt, then residing at Rectory Farm, Weedon (Northamptonshire) to Thomas Edmund Buckingham of Dunstable. The farm then comprised 91.832 acres and Buckingham’s rent was £150 per annum

Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years from the early to mid 19th century until 1940. They reveal that in 1940 Samuel Fleckney was tenant of Pond Farm.

Earlier directories show that from at least 1920 to 1928 the tenant of the farm was Frederick Smith. Henry Whinnett is mentioned as tenant in 1914 whilst in 1910 it was James Whinnett. Directories list a James Whinnett as farmer of an unnamed farm in Wingfield from 1847 and this may be the same man.


Wesleyan Methodism

When the Dunstable Circuit was founded in 1843, Wingfield was one of the founding members. Previous to this Wingfield had been part of the Luton Wesleyan Circuit.

Notes made for the history of the chapel as part of the book Dunstable Methodist Circuit: 150 Years of Witness 1843-1993 states that the first chapel, which was built in 1833, was on land donated by one of the families which worshipped there, probably by a local farmer named Dollimore. It stood on the north side of the T-junction formed by Tebworth Road and Hill Close.

On Sunday 30th March 1851 a census of all churches, chapels and preaching-houses of every denomination was undertaken in England and Wales. The return for the Wingfield chapel was made by local preacher James Whinett who recorded that the chapel had 55 free seats. That evening congregation was 55, though the average for the preceding twelve months had been 45.

The old chapel was replaced in 1854. It was a wooden building, covered with corrugated iron and with a corrugated iron roof. It was said that during heavy rain or hail it was difficult to hear the preacher! The building was approached up three steps and a short path, the front door having a canopy over it. Seating was simple wooden forms with a rail for back support. The floor was covered with buff-coloured coconut matting and heating came from a Tortoise stove, lighting being by oil lamps. A low platform stood at the far end on which were a reading desk, a chair and a harmonium. There were three windows on each side and one over the door.

Methodism was made up of a number of competing strands or sects of which Wesleyan Methodism was one. In 1932 the United Methodists and Primitive Methodists came together with the Wesleyans to form the Methodist Church of Great Britain. The year before new trustees had been appointed for Wingfield, as follows Alfred Hack of Tebworth, farmer; Henry Foster of Wingfield, labourer; Frederick George Grove of Tebworth, timber merchant; Charles Rose of Wingfield, farmer; Ernest Henry Foster of Wingfield, clerk; Cecil Rose of Wingfield, dairyman; Frank Rose of Wingfield, smallholder; Kenneth Norman of Tebworth, engine driver; Henry Pollard Pullen of Chalton, poultry farmer; Charles Frederick Moore of Dunstable, draper; Cyril Squire Durrant of Dunstable, house furnisher; Frank Kenworthy of Dunstable, corn dealer; John Edward Willison of Dunstable, clerk; Robert James Parkins of Dunstable, joiner and Sidney George Champkin of Dunstable, greengrocer.

With dwindling numbers in Chalgrave it was difficult for the Wingfield chapel to survive with a much larger edifice not much more than a mile away in Tebworth. The last service was held in 1937. The meeting was removed from the Dunstable Circuit plan in 1945 and the chapel was sold on 23rd January 1947 and subsequently removed.

The Plough Public House

See the Public House section of this website.

History courtesy of Bedfordshire Borough Council Community Archives.

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