12 ISSUES FOR £24 Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today click here

Lost Hertfordshire: book reveals insight into old England

PUBLISHED: 13:06 14 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:06 14 March 2017

Red Lion Yard, 81 High Street, Watford c1890

Red Lion Yard, 81 High Street, Watford c1890

Copyrighted

After scouring historic archives, the author of Lost England 1870-1930 has gathered hundreds of photographs of public spaces to give a revealing insight into Victorian and Edwardian England, including Hertfordshire. Here we republish some of those familiar yet unfamiliar images

Lead image: Watford had two main intersections for coaching traffic, one at either end of the High Street, so there was great demand for accommodation. The Red Lion’s frontage was on the High Street, with its carriage entrance giving on to Red Lion Court and the Yard. Close to the Essex Arms, it appears to have had another two inns opposite, and there were numerous others along the High Street.

Village pond, Aldbury, c1930Village pond, Aldbury, c1930

View is north-east across the village pond of this archetypal Hertfordshire village. The Greyhound public house is centre left, with a single car outside. The photograph is taken from approximately the position of the village stocks, which still remain, as does the Greyhound.

Looking south across Market Place towards the Ionic portico of the town hall, built in 1831 to the design of George Smith. Its Palladian facade remains a landmark of the town centre.

St Albans Town Hall, c1930St Albans Town Hall, c1930

To the right in the distance, the ancient tower of St Albans Cathedral is visible. The mainly Romanesque Benedictine abbey, dating from the 12th century, acted as the parish church and continued to do so after it was given cathedral status in 1877.

On May 22, 1455 a Yorkist army under Richard, Duke of York, routed a Lancastrian force after intense fighting around Market Place that resulted in the capture of King Henry VI.

Viewed north-east towards the Corn Exchange on the left and the old Post Office opposite. Both buildings are extant. The Corn Exchange, built on the site of the old Butcher’s Market, opened in 1859. To the immediate left, Nos. 15-23 were businesses owned at the time by Alfred Elms Neale; his father Samuel, from whom he inherited the business, had run furniture and drapers shops in the street. Alfred later owned a motor car dealership on Church Street.

Fore Street, Hertford, 1922Fore Street, Hertford, 1922

The view is from an elevated position, possibly from the building at the corner of the High Street and St Albans Road. In the foreground on the right is The Wellington public house, with the twin steeples of the High Barnet Methodist Church beyond. St John the Baptist church is in the distance.The Wellington no longer survives, and the main part of the methodist church has gone, but the steeples provide a dramatic entrance to The Spires shopping centre, opened in 1989.

High Barnet High Street, c1895High Barnet High Street, c1895

View looking south from what is today HSBC bank, its colonnade visible to the right. The gently curving street leads downhill towards the valley of the River Ver, which gave St Albans its Roman name of Verulamium. Today the scene remains much the same, except that the road is narrowed with wider pavements. A motorcycle and side-car (foreground right) and several cars and vans can be seen.

Chequer Street, St Albans, 1921 (Francis Frith Collection)Chequer Street, St Albans, 1921 (Francis Frith Collection)

The lodge gates lead to the Elizabethan mansion of the park. The gates were built in 1802 and were demolished in the 1970s.

Entrance Lodge at Cassiobury Park, Watford, 1890-1910 (English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images)Entrance Lodge at Cassiobury Park, Watford, 1890-1910 (English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

A number of mills operated in Rickmansworth, processing silk, cotton and paper as well as cereals; the chimney of one can be seen on the right. Mill End ran south–west from the High Street, generally following the course of the River Colne. The Plough was a Benskins-tied pub.

Looking north-west down the street, with carts and wagons outside the Spread Eagle public house to the left. The Essex Arms and SPQR Stores stand opposite. Between them is the entrance to the Corn Exchange, occupying the rear of the hotel built in 1855 on the site of the old Market Hall, which burned down in 1853.

Mill End, Rickmansworth, c1900Mill End, Rickmansworth, c1900

Lost England: 1870-1930

Market Place, Watford, c1890 (English Heritage)Market Place, Watford, c1890 (English Heritage)

Philip Davies, an architectural historian, spent seven years trawling through historic photographs of England around the turn of the 20th century, compiling the best 1,500 in this 558-page book .

It is published by Historic England and available in hardback, RRP £45.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hertfordshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hertfordshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hertfordshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Hertfordshire Life

09:04

The head chef of the St Albans restaurant and bar on unusual combinations, buying local and the power of the humble onion

Read more
June 2017
08:59

We have five family tickets to the Game Fair at Hatfield House to give away, worth a total of £280

Read more
Yesterday, 11:06

Luke Thompson, director at HRJ Foreman Laws Solicitors in Hitchin and Welwyn GC, offers advice for those facing difficult family decisions this summer

Read more
June 2017
Yesterday, 10:51

With a passion for plants born of childhood rambles, East Herts mother and daughter Christine Flintham and Gael Sellwood have become renowned botanical painters. Sandra Smith spoke to the pair about their intricate, beautiful work

Read more
June 2017
Yesterday, 10:40

Visit a garden or show this summer and it’s likely you’ll be inspired. But where to find the plants that got you excited? Not far away, says Philippa Pearson, who shares seven of her favourite Herts nurseries

Read more
June 2017
Thursday, June 22, 2017

Whether you want ice cream, waffles, cake, pancakes, we have selected some of the best dessert and ice cream places in Hertfordshire to stave off those sweet cravings

Read more
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Ellena celebrates Coco’s stripes a century on

Read more
June 2017
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

After nine years, 560,000 trees and a huge community effort, a project to create the largest continuous native forest in England is nearing completion. Ben Sneath explores the hugely ambitious Heartwood Forest near St Albans

Read more
June 2017

A house swap meant a couple avoided the often painful process of moving home, and gave them the opportunity to enhance a grand Arts and Crafts property in Standon

Read more
June 2017
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Facing a life-defining moment at 54, Shenley’s Bob Bhania decided to tackle mountains. Now 60, he is nearing completion of the very rare Explorer’s Grand Slam – scaling the highest peak on each continent and reaching both Poles. Lorenza Bacino met the remarkable explorer

Read more
June 2017

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Hertfordshire Life Application Link


Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Awards Directory

Job search in your local area




Local Business Directory

Hertfordshire's trusted business finder

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search