1906 Letchworth

Taken from Kelly's Directory of Hertfordshire 1906

Letchworth is a parish and village, near the source of the river Hiz, and on the borders of Bedfordshire, with a station on the Hitchin and Cambridge branch of the Great Northern railway, 2 miles north-east from Hitchin stations on the Great Northern and Midland railways, and 2½ south-west from Baldock, in the Northern division of the county, Broadwater hundred, Hitchin union and county court district, Stevenage petty sessional division, and in the rural deanery of Hitchin and archdeaconry and diocese of St Albans.

The church (name unknown) is a small building of rubble and flint, in the Perpendicular style, dating from about 1280, and consists of chancel, nave, south porch and a western turret containing one bell: in the chancel is a brass to Thomas Wyrley, rector of this church, ob.1475; the incised effigy represents him holding  in his hands a heart inscribed “Credo  qd;” therefrom proceed three labels, on two of which can be read “de terrâ  surrecturus sum” and “Redemptor meus vivit;” there is another brass, undated, c.1400, to William Overbury, and Isabel, his wife: the chancel has also a memorial window to Margaret Ann Milne, erected in 1861: there are 65 sittings.   The register dates from the year 1696.

The living is a rectory, net yearly value £185, with residence, in the gift of Julius Arlington Esq and held since 1886 by the Rev Richard Arthur Walls BA of Brasenose College, Oxford.

A Free church, with 250 sittings, was erected in 1905.

In this parish, and extending into the adjoining parishes of Norton and Willian, is the estate on which the First Garden City Limited proposes to lay out and build a town, to be called by that name:  the total area is about 3,818 acres, and that allotted to the project of the town, 1,200 acres:  the map issued by the promoters shows an elaborate plan of streets, roads and open spaces, but, beyond a few cottages, it does not appear that anything of any importance has at present been erected.

The manor house, known as Letchworth Hall, and situated a little south of the church, was built by Sir William Lytton kt about 1620: on the south front appear the arms of Lytton quartering Booth:  the house is substantially built of brick, and was enlarged before 1846 by the late Rev John Alington, who added a large but unmeaning tower; within is a spacious hall and some finely-carved mantel-pieces of oak; it is now occupied as a residential hotel.

The First Garden City Limited are sole landowners.   The soil is chalk and loam; subsoil, various.   The chief crops are  wheat, beans, barley and turnips.   The area is 1,131 acres; rateable value £3,181;  the population in 1901 was 96, but is now (1906) estimated at about 800.

Burley Farm, belonging to this parish, is 8 miles south and locally in the parish of Knebworth.

see also

1906 Private Residents and Commercial
Taken from Kelly’s Directory of Hertfordshire 1906
This page was added on 03/07/2012.

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