Street Names

Street names can tell us a lot about the history of the town. Our roads and thoroughfares are named after people, pubs, activities and events. This gallery looks at some of the town's street names and how they were come by.

Scroll down to find out more about the background to some of Hertford's street names in our second instalment of this feature.

Maidenhead Street

Maidenhead Street is named after the 17th century Maidenhead Inn, which stood on the site of what is now Poundstretcher.

The road was previously known as Back Street or Cordwainer's Street.

Back Street ran parallel to Fore Street from The Wash to South Street.

Chambers Street

Sir Thomas Chambers QC was MP for Hertford from 1852 to 1857. He was also President of the National Chamber of Trade from 1874 to around 1880, and Recorder of London from 1878 to 1891. Born in Hertford, he lived at no 1 Port Hill and is buried in All Saints Church Yard.

Brewhouse Lane

There were once two Brewhouse Lanes in Hertford - one to the west of the town and one to the east. Only one remains whilst the other has been lost, although evidence of it can still be found.

Brewhouse Lane in St.Andrew Street has also been known as Newsells or Newel Lane. It takes its name from the brewery of John Moses Carter, established in 1822. It was later the site of the Simpson Pimm envelope factory.

The other, and now 'lost' Brewhouse Lane ran from the junction of Railway Street and South Street - opposite the Lord Haig public House. It then ran around the back of Young's Brewery and in to Ware Road.

The brewery closed in 1897 and the site was absorbed in to the grounds of Christ's Hospital.

The photo above shows the bricked up Brewhouse Lane opposite the Lord Haig. The cellar openings of Young's Brewery can still be seen in South Street.

The road curved around the back of the brewery, joining Ware Road to the east of Red House. The photo above shows the bricked up entrance, the photo below before.

Brewhouse Lane was previously known as Meeting House Lane as can be seen in this 1766 map.

Fore Street can be seen at the bottom of the picture, with 'The Buildings' of Christ's Hospital on the right. Back Street is now Railway Street. The name Tattle Hill has fallen in to disuse.

Newland Gardens

This recent development by Barratt Homes was built on the former site of the Addis factory, which operated from 1920 until 1993.

Before the factory was built, the land was a market garden run by the Newland family.

Tanners Crescent

In 1891, the former Horns Mill was acquired by William Webb, a leather dresser from Carshalton. A tannery company was established and Messrs Webb & Co produced chamois Leather on the site.

The manufacture of gloves followed in 1915, and the business started working with goatskins and lambskin. The factory closed in 1971.

Nightingale Court

Student nurses at Hertford County Hospital used to be accommodated on this site in North Road.

Caxton Hill

In the early 1950s local printing company Stephen Austin & Sons Ltd purchased part of the old gravel pits south of Ware Road. The company built a new factory on the site and the access road was named Caxton Hill, after William Caxton, who set up the first printing press in England in 1476.

A new company named Hertford Industrial Estates was established in 1959 by C.E.Brazier and a development of 23 industrial units were built on adjacent land that had also been part of the gravel workings.

The estate is now in a poor state of repair and few of the units occupied. There have been proposals to redevelop the site as housing but no planning application has ever been submitted.

Dimsdale Street

Dr Thomas Dimsdale established a practice in Hertford in 1734.

He had a particular interest in the prevention of smallpox by inoculation and innoculated many members of the Russian royal family and court, including Catherine The Great.

Dimsdale was handsomely rewarded, including a Barony of the Russian Empire.

In later years he became a banker and served as MP for Hertford between 1780 amd 1790.

He owned much of the land between Old Cross and Byde Street.

Cowbridge School in Dimsdale Street opened in January 1863, educating children of primary school age until the outbreak of World War II in September 1939. After a period of use by the military, it became a craft centre teaching pottery, woodwork and metalwork. The site was abandoned in 1968. A covenant on the building resticts its use to education.

Gallows Hill

Gallows Hill led to Gallows Plain, where criminals were executed following trial and conviction.

The last man to be hung on Gallows Plain was Richard Waters, on 19th March 1800 after being convicted of Highway Robbery.

Villiers Street & Townshend Street

These two street are named after John Villiers Stuart Townshend, the 5th Marquess of Raynham.

Photo of Townshend Street

The Marquess owned the Balls Park Estate, which included the former Priory land and fields to the imemdiate north of Ware Road.

Photo of Villiers Street

The land was sold to the National Freehold Land Society in 1853.

Development of the residential streets behind Ware Road began after the opening of the origional Hertford East station in 1843 in Railway Place.

Smeaton Court

John Smeaton was the civil engineer who surveyed and designed the route for the River Lea Navigation. Construcion of the canalised river was completed in 1771.

You can find out about more of Hertford's street names by visiting our history section.

Want to read the first instalment of this feature? Check our our earlier Street Names gallery.

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