was located between the Two Brewers Inn and the Carlton Club.

The audio voiceover is recommended but optional (needs updating to match this revised text).

Should you have walked along the pavement between the Two Brewers Inn and the Carlton Club in the 1950s you would have been confronted by Clifton House, a large Georgian style building (see image).

Clifton House c. 1950s

Clifton House was a very imposing property on the High Street. Early details of the building, its purpose and its occupants  are difficult to ascertain. In 1891 John Hamp, an Estate Bailiffe, and his wife Elizabeth lived in the house, whereas in 1910 the house was owned by Annie Cooper who resided there. 

By 1936 Horace Cowley, an owner of a large shoe factory in Yardley Road, had moved there with his family. The family still had a presence there in 1951.

The lounge  of Clifton House c. the late 1940s

The property was converted into flats in the 1950s which were often leased to American Servicemen stationed at Chicksands near Bedford.

The Billiard Room and Yew tree c. late 1940s
Clifton House c. early 1950s
Rear of house c. early 1950s

Later that decade the building developed substantial structural faults, with major cracks clearly visible on the southern face of the property.

Sadly the building was demolished during the mid to late 1960s. The plot now belongs to the Carlton House Club and performs a useful role as their beer garden. Maybe a different decision would have been taken today which may have rsulted in the building being repaired and restored.

The above images, with exception of the first one, were kindly provided by Mick Carter, a descendant of the Cowley family, to whom the Olney & District Historical Society is indebted for permission to display the images on this web site. 

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