The house was built between 1862 and 1864 by the Rev. George Gardner Harter the then Rector of Cranfield. He came to live in the village in 1845 and bought several estates in the parish including four in the Wood End Area. It was on part of this land that Cranfield Court was built.
The Court was designed by Thomas Hine of Nottingham. A red brick building in the French Gothic style, it appears to have been the first house in England to have double glazing. Around the Court was an area of common land and closes which were laid out as a 60-acre park. Water was supplied from a spring to a reservoir, from which it was pumped to the house. It also had its own gas supply from its own gas works in the grounds.
On the death of Rev. Harter the house passed to his son James and the family continued to live there until James's death in 1910.
The majority of the house was demolished in 1933/4, with only the servants quarters remaining. These were transformed into a private house.
The former entrance to the property still stands in Lodge Road. It is simply called The Lodge.
- Victoria County History of Bedfordshire, volume III
- Cranfield, by Stephen Coleman
- Old Cranfield in the early part of the twentieth century by a native, by Doris Malsher
- Cranfield its church and people, by M. K. Street
Cranfield Court, by Bedfordshire Libraries, 2009
Page last updated: 19th May 2014