Harpenden. Southdown Road
While Nikolaus Pevsner (p158) and Kate Thompson (Historical Atlas of Hertfordshire p151) state these were almshouses, it seems more likely they were homes for working people. They are not mentioned in Victoria County History. The OS maps of the day do not annote them as almshouses (though this cannot be taken as definitive), and no evidence has so far been found as to any charitable foundation. A resident at the time of the visit (2017) said they were originally homes for workers and confirmed they were then in private ownership.
The houses were built by Henry Tylston Hodgson (1814 – 1918); the stone above the centre porch has the initials H&CH 1870, denoting Henry and Charlotte Hodgson. Henry was a substantial benefactor for the people of Harpenden. Reference should be made to the Harpenden History website for information about his activities and some photos. He was vice chairman of the Midland Railway Company, had a number of other railway directorships, served as a JP, and was Harpenden’s first elected member for Harpenden on Hertfordshire County Council.
Having said that, hardly any information has so far come to light.
8 – 11 Southdown Road, Harpenden AL5 1PD
Grid Reference: 513629 214046
The Buildings of England by Nikolaus Pevsner (pub 1953)
2nd ed rev Bridget Cherry
Pub Penguin Books 1977 ISBN 0 14 071007 8
An Historical Atlas of Hertfordshire ed David Short
Hertfordshire Publications 2011
http://www.harpenden-history.org.uk/page_id__538.aspx Accessed June 2018