The Victoria history of the county of Hertford, England


For the design and scope of the History of Hertfordshire the reader is referred to the General Advertisement of the Victoria History.

While it is intended in the earlier portion of each History to keep to a chronological order as far as possible, the conditions obtaining in some counties make it desirable to depart slightly from the general rule. In the case of Hertfordshire the break in continuity is made by omitting the Romano-British chapter from this volume. Although our knowledge of Saxon times as far as this county is concerned is very imperfect, there is at present no such activity of research in this department as to encourage the hope that important facts may be brought to light if publication be delayed. But the excavations which are proceeding at Verulamium may add something to the very scanty material available for reconstructing the story of the county at the time of the Roman occupation, and Mr. Haverfield's contribution will therefore be reserved for a future volume.

It may be questioned by some whether there be any need for another History of Hertfordshire, seeing that three histories of the county have been issued already at various times. But it may be pointed out that in none of them is there to be found a general view of the county and its life such as is projected in the present work; nor has the true foundation of modern county history the Domesday Survey been examined by previous historians with the care it deserves. In this respect the Victoria History claims to supersede its predecessors; and while the public must ultimately judge whether the ideals of the editors be in any degree realized, it is believed that in the manorial history, which will follow in two of the three succeeding volumes, the student will find a greater measure of accuracy than in the earlier histories. A particular statement of the plan upon which the topographical history has been compiled will be given in the preface to the next volume, in which the first portion of this section will find a place. The fourth volume will contain general articles on Ecclesiastical, Political, Social and Economic history and other subjects, as announced in the prospectus.


Table of Contents

Dedication v
The Advisory Council of the Victoria vii
General Advertisement vii
The Hertfordshire County Committee xiii
Contents xv
List of Illustrations xvii
Preface xix
Natural History

Geology 1
Climate 33
Palaeontology 41
Introduction 43
Phanerogamia (Flowering plants) 44
Notes on the Botanical Districts 51
Cryptogamia (Non-flowering plants) 60
Filices (Ferns) 61
Equisetaceae (Horsetails) 62
Lycopodiaceae (Clubmosses) 62
Musci and Hepatiea (Mosses and Liverworts) 62
Characeae (Stoneworts) 65
Algae 66
Lichenes (Lichens) 69
Fungi 70
Mycetozoa 80
Mollusca (Snails, etc.) 81
Insecta (Insects)
Introduction 83
Coleoptera (Beetles) 83
Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths) 110
Orthoptera (Grasshoppers and Neuroptera (Dragon/lies) 168
Trichoptera (Caddisflies) and Hymenoptera (Bees, etc.) 169
Diptera (Flies) 170
Hemiptera (Bugs, etc.) and Aphides 171
Arachnida (Spiders, etc.) 171
Crustacea (Crabs, etc.) 181
Pisces (Fishes) 189
Reptilia and Batrachia (Reptiles and Batrachians) 191
Aves (Birds) 193
Mammalia (Mammals) 217
Early Man 223
Anglo-Saxon Remains 251
Introduction to the Hertfordshire Domesday 263
Text of the Hertfordshire Domesday 300
Sport, Ancient and Modern
Introduction 345
Foxhunting 349
Hertfordshire Hounds 350
Puckeridge Hounds 352
Old Berkeley Hounds 355
Harriers 357
Staghounds 358
Shooting 359
Fishing 361
Hawking 363
Steeplechasing 364
Racing 366
Coursing 368
Pugilism 369
Cockfighting 370
Bullbaiting 371
'Bob Grimston' 371
Cricket 372
Football 381
Association 381
Rugby 383
Index of the Hertfordshire Domesday 387


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Table of Contents

Dedication v
Contents ix
List of Illustrations xiii
List of Maps xx
Editorial Note xxi

Hitchin Hundred
Introduction 1
Hitchin 3
Ickleford 21
Ippollitts 25
Kimpton 29
King's Walden 33
Lilley 37
Offley 39
Pirton 44
Broadwater Hundred
Introduction 52
Aston 54
Ayot St. Lawrence or Great Ayot 59
Ayot St. Peter 63
Baldock 65
Benington 73
Datchworth 78
Digswell 81
Graveley 85
Hatfield or Bishop's Hatfied 91
Knebworth 111
Topography (continued)
Broadwater Hundred (continued)
Letchworth 118
Great Munden 124
Little Munden 129
Sacombe 136
Stevenage 139
Totteridge 148
Walkern 151
Watton-at-Stone 158
Welwyn 165
Willian 177
Great or Much Wymondley 181
Little Wymondley 186
Odsey Hundred
Introduction 192
Ardeley 194
Ashwell 199
Broadfield 209
Bygrave 211
Caldecote 217
Clothall 220
Cottered 226
Hinxworth 232
Kelshall 240
Radwell 244
Reed 247
Royston 253
Rushden 265
Sandon 270
Therfield 276
Wallington 284
Topography (continued)
Braughing Hundred
Introduction 289
Bishop's Stortford 292
Braughing 306
Eastwick 317
Gilston 319
Hunsdon 323
Sawbridgeworth 332
Standon 347
Stanstead Abbots 366
Thorley 373
Thundridge 377
Ware 380
Westmill 397
Widford 402
Hertford Hundred
Introduction 407
Parts of All Saints' and St. John's, Hertford, including the liberties of Brickendon and Little Amwell 409
Great Amwell 414
Bayford 419
Little Berkhampstead 427
Broxbourne with Hoddesdon 430
Cheshunt St. Mary 441
Essendon 458
Hertingfordbury 462
St. Andrew Rural 468
Stanstead St. Margaret's 472
Stapleford 476
Topography (continued)
Hertford Hundred (continued)
Tewin 480
Wormley 487
Hertford Borough 490


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Table of Contents

Dedication v
Contents ix
List of Illustrations xiii
List of Maps xvi
Editorial Note xvii

Edwinstree Hundred
Introduction 1
Albury 4
Anstey 11
Aspenden alias Aspeden with Wakeley 17
Barkway 25
Barley 36
Buckland 42
Little Hadham 49
Much Hadham 58
Great Hormead 68
Little Hormead 74
Layston 77
Meesden 88 Brent Pelham 91
Furneux Pelham 100
Stocking Pelham 108
Throcking 111
Wyddial 114
Celtic and Romano-British Hertfordshire 119
Topographical Index of Romano-British Remains 147
Social and Economic History 173
Table of Population 1801-1901 233
Introduction 239
Textiles 248
Industries (continued)
The Straw Plait, Hat and Bonnet Industry 251
Paper-making 256
Printing 258
Pottery, Tiles and Bricks 264
Plaster Work 266
Bell Founding 268
Water-cress Growing 272
Forestry 275
Ecclesiastical History
Before the Conquest 281
After the Conquest 294
Religious Houses
Introduction 365
Abbey of St. Albans
Before the Conquest 367
After the Conquest 372
Priory of Redbourn 416
" " Hertford 419
" " Salburn in Standon 421
" " Sopwell 422
" " Cheshunt 426
" " St. Mary de Pre, St. Albans 428
" " St. Giles in the Wood, Flamstead 432
" " Rowney, Great Munden 434
" " Royston 436
" " Wymondley 440
" " New Bigging, Hitchin 443
Preceptory of Standon 444
" " Temple Dinsley 445
Priory of King's Langley 446
Friars Minor of Ware 451
Carmelite Friars of Hitchin 451
Trinitarian Friars of Hertford 452
College of Thele or Stanstead St. Margaret's 454
Priory of Ware 455
Hospital of St. Mary Bigging, Anstey 457
Hospital of St. John Baptist, Berkhampstead 458
Hospital of St. John the Evangelist, Berkhampstead 459
Hospital of St. Erasmus and St. Mary Magdalene, Cheshunt 460
Hospital of St. Mary Magdalene, Clothall 460
Religious Houses (continued)
Hospital of St. Laud and St. Anthony, Hoddesdon 461
Hospital of St. John and St. James, Royston 462
Hospital of St. Nicholas, Royston 464
" " St. Julian by St. Albans 464


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Table of Contents

Contents 4
General Index 5
Corrigenda 115


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The geological structure of Hertfordshire attracted the attention of our earliest county historian long before geology became a science. 'Concerning the Style:' said Norden in 1597, 'It is for the most part chalkie, though the upper cruste in the South and West parts be for the most part of redde earth mixed with gravell, which yet by reason of the white marie under it yeeldeth good wheat and oates...' Norden here makes a definite geological observation, that the Chalk, which forms the main stratum of the county, is overlaid in the south and west by a mixed soil of red earth (or clay) and gravel. This is correct so far as it goes, but it appears to have escaped his notice that in the east a loamy clay (boulder-clay) overlies the Chalk, and that in the south-east a stiff clay (the London Clay) completely alters the character of the soil, so effectually covering up the Chalk which lies underneath it that it is more suitable for root-crops and pasture than for raising 'good wheat and oates.' Norden also quaintly says that in the north part of the shire 'the soyle is very apt to yeeld corne and dertie wayes,' and in his account of Hitchin 8 he speaks of ' a kinde of chalke... a stonie Marie, more fit to make lime than to soyle the grounde.'