Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for HATFIELD, or Bishops-Hatfield

HATFIELD, or Bishops-Hatfield, a small town, a parish, a sub-district, and a distiict in Herts. The town stands on a declivity, and on the Great Northern railway, at a junction of branch railways to Hei.tford, St. Albans, and Dunstable, near the river Lea, 7 miles WSW of Hertford. It is an ancient place; has a modern suburb, ½ a mile to the W, called Hatfield New Town; is a seat of petty sessions and a polling place; and has a head post office, ‡ a railway station with telegraph, two good inns, a market house, a police station, militia barracks, a church, an Independent chapel, a public library, aii endowed school, alms houses, and a workhouse. The church is an ancient edifice, with an embattled tower and a handsome new spire; comprises nave, aisles, and chancel, together with a chapel of the Cecil family, and Marquises of Salisbury; and contains monumeiits of the Cecils, the Botelers, the Brockets, and the Reads. One of the Cecil monuments, that of the first Earl of Salisbury, is a beautiful structure, supported by figures of the four cardinal virtues. A weekly market is held on Thur.sday; fairs are held on 23 April and 18 Oct.; and somi business is done in connexion with neighbouring silk and paper mills. -The parish contains also the hainlets of Roe-Green, Newgate-Street, and woodside. Acres, 12, 619. Real property, £23, 457. Pop., 3, 871. Houses, 758. The manor belonged to the Saxon kings; was given by them to Ely abbey; passed, in 1108, to the Bishops of Ely; went, in the time of Heniy VII I., to the Crown; was exchanged, by James I., with the Cecils, for Theobalds; and belongs now to the Marquis of Salisbury. An ancient palace of the Bishops of Ely stood here; was the place of Edward VI. 's residence, when he was called to the throne; was the place also of Elizabeth's residence, when she was called to the throne, and for several years before; and has left sonie remains. An oak tree, under which Elizabeth sat, awaiting a military escort to London, is still in the park. Hatfield H ouse, now the seat of the Marquis of Salisbury, succeeded the palace; was built by Sir Robert Cecil, afterwards Earl of Salisbury; underweiit restoration by Thorpe; is a large Tudor strncture, in brick, with enrichments of stone; consists of a centre and projecting wings, with four turrets at tlie angles; has, in the centre, a iich Greciaii colonnade, and a lofty tower; is a very fine specimen of the domestic architecture of its age; contains a valuable collection of pictures and curiosities; suffered some damage by fire, in 1835, when the Dowager Marcliioness was burnt to death; 5 u was visited, in 1846, by Queen Victoria; underwent recent restorations and embellishments, at a cost of 50, 000; has beautiful grounds; and commands charming views. Brocket Hall belonged formerly to Viscount Melbourne: was visited, in his time, by Queen Victoria; and is now the seat of Viscount Palmerston. The living is a rectory, united with the chapelry of Totteridge, in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £2, 097.* Patron, the Marquis of Sa1isbury. Four churches, besides the mother one, are in the parish, at respectively Woodhill, Newgate-Street, Lemsford-Mills, and Hatfield-Hyde; the last erected in 1862, the other three also recent. There is a national school in Woodside.—The sub-district contains also the parishes of Essendon, Northaw, and North Mimms; and is a poor law union. Acres, 23, 027. Poor rates in 1863, £4, 139. Pop. in 1851, 6, 274; in 1861, 6, 189. Houses, 1, 233. The district comprehends also the sub-district, or poor law union, of Welwyn, containing the parishes of Welwyn, Digswell, Ayott-St. Lawrence, and Ayott-St. Peter. Acres of the district, 29, 484. Poor rates in 1863, £5, 489. Pop. in 1851, 8, 499; in 1861, 8, 400. Houses, 1, 672. Marriages in 1862, 40; births, 267, -of which 40 were illegitimate; deaths 152, -of which 54 were at ages under 5 years, and 4 at ages above 85. Marriages in the 10 years 1851-60, 41 4; births, 2, 573; deaths, 1, 510. The places of worship, in 1851, were 9 of the Church of England, with 3, 742 sittings; 2 of Independents, with 680 s.; 2 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 185 s.; 2 of Primitive Methodists, with 210 s.; and 1 undefined, with 200 s. The schools were 20 public dayschools, with 982 scholars; 22 private day schools, with 321 s.; 17 Sunday schools, with 787 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 48 s.

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

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a small town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Bishops Hatfield AP/CP       Hatfield CP       Hatfield SubD       Hatfield RegD       Hertfordshire AncC
Place: Hatfield

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