Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for WATFORD

WATFORD, a town, a parish, and a district, in Herts. The town stands on Watling-street, the river Colne, the Northwestern railway at the junction of the branches to Rickmansworth and St. Albans, 17¾ miles NW of London; took its name from Watling-Street and from a ford on the Colne; is a seat of petty-sessions and county courts, and a polling place; consists chiefly of one street, upwards of a mile long, and recently much improved; and has a head post-office,‡ a r. station with telegraph, two banking offices, two hotels, one of them built at a cost of £7,000, a medicinal spring, a court house, a bridge, a police station, an ancient church with tower and spire, a modern church in the early English style, four dissenting chapels, a new cemetery with two chapels, a literary institute, a mechanics' and labourers' reading room, an endowed school for 40 boys and 20 girls, another endowed school for 11 boys, national and British schools, alms houses for 12 widows, a workhouse, and aggregate charities £808. A weekly market is held on Tuesday; fairs are held on 31 March, 29 and 30 Aug., and 9 Sept.; and there are a silk factory, an iron foundry, coach-works, breweries, and paper and corn mills. A railway tunnel, 1 mile and 170 yards long, is adjacent; and was formed at a cost of £140,000. The town includes a small part of Bushey parish. Pop. in 1861, 4,385. Houses, 897.

The parish includes Oxhey, Cashio, and Leavesden hamlets; and comprises 10,792 acres. Real property, £38,808. Pop. in 1851, 6,546; in 1861, 7,418. Houses, 1,481. The manor belonged anciently to St. Alban's abbey; went, in the time of James I., to the Egertons; and was sold, in 1760, to the Capels. The Grove is the seat of the Earl of Clarendon; Cashiobury, of the Earl of Essex; Watford House, of R. Clutterbuck, Esq.; and W.-Field House, ofA. Hulbert, Esq. The head living or St. Mary's is a vicarage, and that of St. Andrew is a p. curacy, in the diocese of Rochester. Value of St-M., £670;* of St. A., £300. Patron of St. M., the Earl of Essex; of St. A., Trustees. The vicarage of Leavesden and the donative of Oxhey are separate benefices.—The district contains 6 parishes, and is divided into 4 sub-districts. Acres, 36,520. Poor rates in 1863, £12,328. Pop. in 1851, 18,800; in 1861, 20,355. Houses, 4,179. Marriages in 1863, 128; births, 654,- of which 38 were illegitimate; deaths, 402,-of which 143 were at ages under 5 years, and 13 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 984; births, 6,158; deaths, 3,913. The places of worship, in 1851, were 10 of the Church of England, with 5,183 sittings; 3 of Independents, with 724 s.; 10 of Baptists, with 2,272 s.; 4 of Wesleyans, with 746 s.; 1 undefined, with 60 s.; 1 of the Catholic and Apostolic church, with 20 s.; and 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 80 s. The schools were 23 public day-schools, with 2,098 scholars; 25 private day-schools, with 453 s.; 25 Sunday schools, with 1,699 s.; and 2 evening schools for adults, with 17 s.

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

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Watford AP/CP       Watford CP       Watford PLU/RegD       Hertfordshire AncC
Place: Watford

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