Harpenden  Hertfordshire


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Harpenden like this:

HARPENDEN, or HARDEN, a village, a parish, and a sub-district, in St. Albans district, Herts. The village stands near the river Lea and the Hatfield and Dunstable railway, 1¼ mile from the boundary with Beds, and 4½ N by W of St. Albans; and has a station on the railway, and a post-office‡ under St. ...

Albans. The parish comprises 5,061 acres. Real property, £11,031. Pop. in 1851,1,980; in 1861,2,164. Houses, 455. The property is much subdivided. The manor of Wheathampstead-cum-Harpenden belonged anciently to Westminster abbey; and is now divided between the Dean and Chapter of Westminster and John B. Lawes, Esq. Rotham sted, the seat of Mr. Lawes, is an old, picturesque, Elizabethan house; and stands in a well-wooded park. A chemical laboratory was built in 1855, by subscription, and presented to Mr. Lawes, in testimony of his discoveries in agricultural chemistry. Harpenden Hall, an old and picturesque house in the village, belonged formerly to the Reading family, and belongs now to C. W. Packe, Esq. Straw-plaiting and bleaching, and some brewing, are carried on. Races are held on the Friday before the Epsom races. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £710.* Patron, the Bishop of Peterborough. The former church was originally Norman, but largely altered to later English; and was cruciform, with originally a central tower, which was destroyed by fire, and succeeded by a western tower. The present church was built in 1863, at a cost of £4,600; retains the tower of the previous church; is in the decorated English style, and cruciform; and has a restored ancient font of Purbeck marble, and several monuments, including brasses of the Cressey and Annables families. There are chapels for Independents and Wesleyans, British and foreign schools, a national school, and charities £9.—The sub-district contains also three other parishes. Acres, 20,375. Pop., 7,000. Houses, 1,442.

Harpenden through time

Harpenden is now part of St Albans district. Click here for graphs and data of how St Albans has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Harpenden itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Harpenden, in St Albans and Hertfordshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 12th April 2024

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