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High Street (west): The College (behind Nos 56 and 64)

Through the medieval archway to the left of No. 56 is a group of cottages which by the 19th century formed one of Burford's several cramped cottage yards (cf. Nos. 135–137 and 153). In 1793 there were 4 dwellings here, but by 1841 the yard contained 11 separate households containing 44 people; twenty years later there were still 10 households and 40 people, including agricultural labourers, a stableman, and a gardener. By the 1870s and 1880s some of the cottages had been combined into a licensed boarding house accommodating around 20 lodgers, and the overcrowding diminished as Burford's population fell. Even so there were still four separate dwellings and 16 inhabitants in 1901, including the lodging house (with 12 inmates), and cottages to let. The name 'College', used ironically as in many such cases, was used by the 1790s.

The cottages themselves are probably 17th- and 18th-century in origin, built in random rubble limestone, and with some timber lintels. In the 1970s the yard was 'gentrified' and the passageway blocked. Apart from a three-light mullion window at the back of No. 56, all the existing doors and windows are 20th-century, and the roof, too, has been raised.

Content generated during research for the paperback book 'Burford: Buildings and People in a Cotswold Town' (ISBN 13 : 9781860774881) for the England's Past for Everyone series

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