High St. No.48

This was known locally as Icknield House. It is a timber framed 16th century building which has, unusually its ridge at right angles to the street. In the late 19th century it was given a painted brick front and on the first floor a canted oriel. The roof tiles are plain with a boxed attic dormer. Inside there are three bays, the furthest from the road was formerly jettied on the southern side. Between the front and the middle bays is a late 17th or early 18th century red brick square chimney stack, with a large open fireplace, and some evidence of a small enclosed hole, possibly a secret hide for a priest.  A small stair turret adjoins the property on the southern side.

This building was once the ‘Antelope Inn’ and is thought to date from medieval times. Certainly, by 1545, it was owned by John Beech who mentions it in his will. There is another reference to it in 1566 and in 1597 Innocent Reade had a ‘messuage’ in Redbourn called the Antelope. It appears interestingly in his Inquisition Post Mortem! In 1615 Richard Reade sold it and his other lands and properties to the occupier Robert Whitley for £436 who was still in possession up to 1631. By 1665 it had passed to John Ellis who had, by 1671 sold it to the Catlin family. It would appear that it had ceased trading by 1682. John Halsey was owner between 1686 and 1701. The next mention in the records is in 1760 as an empty house, when the owner was Mark Young who still held it in 1802. During the 19th century it became a butcher’s shop trading under the name of W. Silkman. By 1890 it was a saddlery and cycle premises. The owner was William Collyer, who had taught himself to drive and bought one of the first cars to appear in the village. It was a 7HP ‘Horley’ car with a tonneau body. He went on to run the buildings at the rear (where old timbers can be seen) as a repair shop and car hire business. It later, until 1966 became the offices for Hardings Garage.

By 1969 it was ‘Spinning Wheel Antiques’ until the death of the owner Leslie Jones in 1981. During this time the rear premises were occupied by Silkmead Engineering. The premises have been, since the 1980’s variously a building society branch office, and now an estate agents.

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