Nostalgia: Home had trader in hot water

PUBLISHED: 11:46 19 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:27 06 May 2010

Beaumont House

Beaumont House

BEAUMONT CLOSE, SHORTMEAD STREET, BIGGLESWADE BEAUMONT Close was built in 1840 for John Foster, one member of a family of merchants trading between Biggleswade and Kings Lynn. Blythe Foster was living there in 1851 with his wife Alicia and three servant

BEAUMONT CLOSE, SHORTMEAD STREET, BIGGLESWADE

BEAUMONT Close was built in 1840 for John Foster, one member of a family of merchants trading between Biggleswade and Kings Lynn.

Blythe Foster was living there in 1851 with his wife Alicia and three servants. He died in 1871 and John Nathaniel Foster put it up for sale by auction at the Swan Hotel on November 30, 1871

The main particulars in 1871 included nearly five acres of land, "hot water heating apparatus", a library, conservatory, "domestic offices" including a butler's pantry, butler's bedroom and scullery, seven bedrooms, and arched underground cellars for beer, apples, wine and dairy.

The extensive grounds extended right down to the river.

A house and saddlers shop (now the veterinary surgery) and three cottages, (now Dew Cottage) were sold as separate lots.

On the north side was Dark Lane, which existed before the mansion was built and still remains today.

The building was bought by Gerard Andrews and subsequent owners were Henry Jackson Whiteley (1881) and James Binney (1894).

The Misses Wilkin, daughters of a Church of England clergyman, had purchased the building by 1898.

Miss Alice Wilkin died in 1913 and her three sisters attended the funeral.

Charles Edward Cooke purchased Beaumont Close in 1921.

He was estate agent for Viscount Clifden of Wimpole Hall.

Mr Cooke died in 1933 and Mrs Cooke remained in the house until 1937 when she sold it to Edward Dixon Fisher, the ironmonger, who died in 1966.

In 1987 the fine mansion was converted into Biggleswade Nursing Home, now known as Beaumont Park Nursing Home.

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