Introduction – Discover Redbourn’s Heritage : A Journey Around the Village
Thank you for clicking on our new Redbourn History site. On moving into the village nine years ago and walking around our new home, it quickly became obvious that Redbourn was extremely rich in history. The first publication I came across to engage my interest, was Geoff Webb’s “Redbourn through Time” (Amberley Publishing 2008). His photos of old and new views, together with anecdotes of local knowledge were extremely thought provoking. I continued my reading with his “Redbourn Commoner and Country Life” (Amberley Publishing 1982) and “Redbourn Reflections” (Crest Printers 2011) and a compilation of photos by Geoff Webb. He collected over 3,500 photos now held at the Redbourn Museum on the Common. My visit to the museum stimulated my interest still further.
I then bought a copy of “Redbourn’s History” by Alan Featherstone (Print Force, Redbourn 2001). A marvellous fount of knowledge and sources for further study. The museum sold copies of “The Inns and Public Houses of Redbourn” by Ron Such and this was in invaluable guide to the many drinking and brewing establishments in the village. “The Story of Redbourn”, printed in 1962 and published by members of the Redbourn Local History Tutorial Class organised by the Redbourn Branch of the W.E.A. (printed by St Christopher Press) was kindly lent to me, as was “John Keats, Henry Stephens and George Wilson Mackereth – The Unparalleled Lives of Three Medical Students” by William S. Pierpoint (J.G.Bryson Printers 2010).
With “The Guide to British Listed Buildings”, the report of the village as one in a series of archaeological surveys of historic urban areas of Hertfordshire, visits to the library and all the information now available online, and all the other sources mentioned above, I set about compiling a guide to the village.
That was seven years ago and a chance meeting of Councillor Ivan Hickmott at the 2017 Xmas Fair set me on the road to putting this history on to the village website for all to appreciate. I also have to thank my husband, Richard for his patience and his technical ability on the computer as well as Councillor Teresa Finnigan and local resident and computer expert, Russell Thomas who have been instrumental in getting the project to work. My husband and I have been kept fit by our walks around the village and surrounding farms taking photos. We have met many people along the way who have pointed us in the direction of more interesting discoveries.
Most of the old photographs shown on this website are part of the collection amassed by Redbourn resident Geoff Webb and are publicly available at the Redbourn Museum and on the Hertfordshire Memories website. “Discover Redbourn’s Heritage: A Journey Around The Village” has been possible only because of the foresight of Geoff Webb in preserving an online photographic library of Redbourn.
This is not meant to be a chronological guide to the development of Redbourn although for those of you who want to see a quick run through of events in time order, I have included a timeline. It is a guide and history to the buildings that exist today and significant ones that have disappeared. It is our intention to devise a series of walks from this information which will be available to download and to pick up from the parish centre and museum. Who knows, we may even be able to place heritage plaques on historically significant buildings, if funds become available (Heritage Lottery Funding would be good!)
To access information, choose and click on a category (e.g. Roads/Buildings). From the list, click on the road you would like to look at (e.g. Lamb Lane). Scroll down to the building you want to see the information for (e.g. Sunshine Corner) and click on either the title or the photo. The information will then appear. This method of access to information applies to all the categories.
I am very aware that there are gaps in the information on this website. I also expect I have got things wrong. It is important that the gaps are filled where possible and the corrections are made. If you can help with any additional information about any of the topics or if you have found an error, I would like to hear from you. At the bottom of each Heritage page you will see a section to submit your comments/amendments. Please complete the form with your suggested amendment and I will endeavour to verify and update all suggestions. Complete the boxes for your name and e-mail address, ignoring the Website box. After writing your comment click the Submit Comment button.
Alongside this village history website, I want to start a “Living History” site so people can share their memories of the village and maybe re-establish contacts with old friends and colleagues. If you want to take part in this exciting project, you need to select the “Memories” button on the home page and write your recollections in the "Leave a Comment" section. I will then transfer them to the “Living History” site for all to see. Selecting the same “Memories” button will enable all to read the recollections.
I hope you enjoy this labour of love undertaken on my retirement.
Joyce Clayton B.A. (Hons) History
1st July 2019
Every reasonable attempt has been made to obtain permission to use the images reproduced on this website. However, it has been impossible to trace the copyright holders for some of them. There has been no intention of exploiting such images for economic gain. They are merely to illustrate an important part of our local heritage. That said, if you are the owner of the copyright of an image shown on this website, please contact me to establish retrospective permission.