Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for HEMEL-HEMPSTEAD

HEMEL-HEMPSTEAD, a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district in Herts. The town stands among hills, on a pleasant slope at the river Gade, adjacent to the Grand Junction canal and the Northwestern railway, at the terminus of a branch railway from the Northwestern, 5 miles E of Great Berkhampstead. The railway to it leaves the Northwestern at Boxmoor, is 13/4. mile long, and was authorized in July 1865. The town was known, at Domesday, as Hamelamstede; and some Roman relics were found at it in 1837. It consists chiefly of one street, nearly a mile long; and is somewhat irregularly yet well built. It was incorporated by Henry VIII.; is now governed by a bailiff, chosen annually; is a seat of petty sessions, and a polling place; and has a head post office, ‡ two banking offices, two chief inns, a police station, a town hall, a corn market, a church, five dissenting chapels, a literary and mechanics' institute, national schools, two endowed schools, and a workhouse. The corn exchange was recently made, by enclosing the space under the town hall. The church is Norman, cruciform, and large, with a lofty spire; was recently restored, at a cost of £3, 600; and contains a very ancient font, a brass of 1480, several marble tablets, and a fine monument to the late Sir Astley P. Cooper, Bart. The West Herts county infirmary, at Marlowes, S of the town, was erected in 1830, by the late Sir John S. Sebright, Bart.; and was endowed by him, first with £100 a year, and afterwards with a donation of £8, 000. A weekly market is held on Thursday; and fairs are held on Holy Thursday, Trinity-Thursday, and the third Monday of Sept. The corn market is one of the largest in the county; and was formerly reckoned one of the greatest in England, £20, 000 a week having been often returned for meal alone. Straw plaiting, brewing, tanning, and iron founding are carried on; and lime kilns and numerous paper mills are in the neighbourhood. Pop. of the town in 1851, 2, 727; in 1861, 2, 974. Houses, 586.—The parish contains also the townships of Boxmoor and Two-Waters, and the hamlets of Corner-Hall and Crouchfield. Acres, 7, 136. Real property, £29, 513; of which £155 are in gas works. Pop. in 1851, 7, 073; in 1861, 7, 948. Houses, 1, 603. The manor was given partly, by King Offa of Mercia, to St. Albans abbey, - partly by Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, to Ashridge college; passed, in the time of Henry VIII., to the Waterhouses; and went from them to the Halseys. Hempstead-Bury House was the seat of the Waterhouses; was, visited by Henry VIII.; and is now represented by only small remains. Gadebridge is the seat of Sir Astley P. Cooper, Bart.; and Marchmont House is the residence of the Dowager Lady Cooper. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £709. Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of St. Pauls, on the nomination of the Bishop of Peterborough. The vicarage of Boxmoor is a separate benefice. Dean Field, who wrote on "the Church" in answer to Cardinal Bellarmine, was a native; and two divines, of the name of Dikes, also were natives. The sub-district is conterminate with the parish.—The district comprehends also the sub-district of Flamstead, containing the parishes of Flamstead and Great Gaddesden; and the sub-district of Kings-Langley, containing the parishes of Kings-Langley, Flaunden, and Bovingdon. Acres, 25, 457. Poor rates in 1863, £5, 488. Pop. in 1851, 13, 120; in 1861, 13, 922. Houses, 2, 847. Marriages in 1862, 69; births, 473, -of which 28 were illegitimate; deaths, 231, -of which 87 were at ages under 5 years, and 4 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 872; births, 4, 633; deaths, 2, 800. The places of worship, in 1851, were 9 of the Church of England, with 3, 726 sittings; 3 of Independents, with 630 s.; 10 of Baptists, with 2, 493 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 170 s.; 5 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 800 s.; 2 of Primitive Methodists, with 100 s.; and 2 of Latter Day Saints, with 240 s. The schools were 14 public day schools, with 835 scholars; 28 private day schools, with 567 s.; and 2 Sunday schools, with 2, 266 s.


(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Hemel Hempstead CP/AP       Hemel Hempstead SubD       Hemel Hempstead RegD/PLU       Hertfordshire AncC
Place names: HAMELAMSTEDE     |     HEMEL HEMPSTEAD
Place: Hemel Hempstead

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