Over the last 900 years, Hoddesdon has grown from a small hamlet of around 300 people, which is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, to a bustling and vibrant town of around 37,000 people today.
During that time there have been some key people who have helped to develop the town to what it is today, such as Robert Barclay and John Warner, to name just two.
There is also a plethora of historical buildings and other artefacts that still exist that have contributed towards what Hoddesdon is today, such as the Spinning Wheel at the southern end of the town to the Clock Tower at the northern end of the town.
1. The Spinning Wheel - Built in 1870 by John Warner’s son, Septimus.
2. Old Police Station - This was formerly a large house called Woodlands (demolished in 1967). It was built by John Warner, who ran a foundry, and contributed to the education of children in Hoddesdon.
3. Lowewood - Members of the Warner family lived at Lowewood from 1835 until 1936. In 1936 it was given to the town by Mr Douglas Taylor for use as a public library and museum. It is now the home of Broxbourne Museum, opened in 1982. Can you find the Samaritan Woman in the grounds of the Lowewood Museum? Why was she made?
4. The Grange - Built in the 1650s for Sir Marmaduke Rawdon’s son. From the 1850’s to 1905, the Grange was used as a preparatory school. One of our country’s Prime Ministers received his preparatory education here. What was his name?
5. Rathmore House - Built in 1746 by John Borham, a local businessman, whose initials and date are on the wall. The house was a GP surgery for over 100 years until 1969.
6. Estate House - Built in the 16th century, this was the site of the Birdbolt Inn. In the early 20th Century it housed the Middle Class Academy and was known as Hoddesdon Villa.
7. Rawdon House - Built in 1662 by Sir Marmaduke Rawdon, a wealthy merchant adventurer. James I visited the house on many occasions. It was a school for girls in the mid-19th century. From the 1890s to the 1960s it was St Monica’s Priory and occupied by the nuns of the Order of St Augustine. What is the link between this house and the town’s first piped water supply?
8. Golden Lion - Built in 1535, one of Hoddesdon’s oldest inns.
9. Hogges Hall - This building still contains remnants of its 15th century hall. It was owned by the builder John Alfred Hunt in the mid-19th century. His firm built St Catherine’s Estate in 1883 and St Cuthbert’s Church in 1908.
10. Montague House - Early 18th century building. John Loudon Macadam lived here. What was he famous for?
11. Fawkon Walk - Named after a house called Fawkon on the Hoop, owned by a wealthy landowner Thomas Thorowgood. Once home to the Congregational Church and the Girls’ British School which were demolished in 1967 to make way for the shopping precinct.
12. Town Pump - It used to be outside 86 High Street (Rickmores Electrical Centre. Can you find the paving stone marking the boundary between Greater Amwell parish and Broxbourne parish, outside Poundstretcher?
13. Three Cups Tavern and Temperance Hall (now Swagga) - Opened in 1883 as a place to get non-alcoholic drinks, to counter the number of premises in the town selling alcohol.
14. The White Swan - 16th Century Inn. One of the few inns which retains its original name.
15. The Star - Built 1450. The oldest inn in Hoddesdon. Can you find the Tudor/Elizabethan paintings on the wall?
16. 124-128 High Street - Built before 1630. Was as inn called the Thatched House and became Christie’s Brewery offices.
17. 130-134 High Street - Built 19th Century. Part of the Christie Brewery buildings. The brewery closed in 1928. At its height, this became one of the biggest breweries in Hertfordshire.
18. The Bell Inn - This was a private house in 1546. It was an inn (then called the Hollibush) by 1615.
19. Clock Tower - built c1835 on the site of the old Chapel of St Katherine, over the years it has been used as the town hall, home for the town’s fire engine and even a small prison.
20. Myddleton House - This may have been the home of William Myddleton, Elizabethan poet, naval adventurer and brother of Sir Hugh Myddleton. It became an inn (the Queen’s Head) in about 1720 but reverted to a house in 1852.
21. St Catherine and St Paul’s Church - Built by Robert Plomer in 1732 as a private chapel. It was purchased by the Church in 1820. Plomer’s building forms the nave of the church. A chancel and north and south aisles were added in 1865. A tower was added in 1887, and a peal of eight bells was donated by the Christie family in 1901. Can you find the memorial stone to the Girls’ National School, outside the front of the church?
22. Barclay Hall - This was the Boys’ National School, built in 1844.
23. Barclay Park - It was given to the town by the Barclay family. The park was formerly part of the High Leigh Estate which was purchased by Robert Barclay, a great benefactor of the town in 1871.
Love Hoddesdon consider the town’s heritage as one of its key attractors as a place to visit. It has therefore invested in compiling a detailed report of the town’s history, which resulted in the Love Hoddesdon heritage guide. Both documents can be downloaded here
However, we accept that this is still only a snapshot of those 900 years and we are sure many of you have your own memories of Hoddesdon over the more recent years and some of the people that have contributed to making Hoddesdon what it is today. So why not share those memories with us?