Place House and Bluecoat Yard, Ware

Early Memories

By Ian Fisher

Bluecoat Yard and Place House c.1970s
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
Bluecoat Yard
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

My earliest recollections of Place House go back to the late 1940s or early 1950s. The house was all one at that time as was the garden, which was somewhat longer than the photograph shows. We were living behind the hairdressers shop in New Road, and there was a footpath running up the side of our garden, through Place house garden and into Bluecoat Yard. At that time, the house was occupied by the Hartman family who later emigrated to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).   

The Yard was un-surfaced and at the top was a nursery run by Phil Chapman whose sister kept a fruit and vegetable shop in East Street. Phil eventually sold the land, which is now the site of Ashwood Old Peoples Home.

This page was added on 09/05/2010.

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  • Hi
    My name is was Pauline barrett. I was born in 1968 and lived at no 4 bluecoat yard until 1977. My dad james and mum Margaret. I have 3 sisters ann, christine and linda and my bother philip.My grandparents lived at no 5 for Many years jack and Kathleen. He used to help out at the famous Fred’s fish shop at the bottom of the yard. I have fond memories of my time there.

    By Pauline chapman (25/05/2023)
  • Bluecoat house as it was known, was lived in by Cecil and Ann Hartmann. Plus many grown up children. Including my mum. Cecil was a bandmaster retired. He died in 1953. Ann died just after war. Their son Lawrence is named on the war memorial in the town. I can remember the cottages up the yard and Chapmans at the top of the yard.
    One of Cecil‘s sons & his family left and moved to Zimbabwe. A few of the Hartmann family still lived in Ware till 1970’s.

    By E.Allsopp (06/05/2021)
  • My father was Phil Chapman and he had a shop in the High Street. East Street was the back entrance to the shop. Unfortunately my father had no choice to sell the land a compulsory order was issued to him. Ware relief road was supposed to go through that land and never happened.

    By Helen Baker née Chapman (16/02/2018)
  • My father used to play in the gardens of Place House and was born and bred in 6 East street in 1929 (now a doctors) . Four years ago we were talking about where he was bought up and he said that the house he was bought up in had holes in the ceiling and the bluecoat yard properties were slums also. He had fond memories of his home and the poverty his family had, and many stories of that time like when still very young he was an non registered bookies runner. he wondered where the Hartman family went to as they seemed to go suddenly. His parents and grandparents were publicans and also worked in Ware Brickfields.
    My father played football for Ware and Allenburys (now Glaxo) and Cricket also.
    Your website is a good source and gave my father pleasure in finding out the Hartman family went to Africa as my brother also resides in Africa too.
    My Fathers name Kenneth John Parsley nickname of Snip, it appears that all Ware men of that era had a nickname. Hopefully my comment can be of use.

    By Nigel Parsley (29/11/2017)