Hatfield, Hertfordshire

Hatfield is a town and civil parish in Hertfordshire, England, in the borough of Welwyn Hatfield. It had a population of 29,616 in 2001,[2] and 39,201 at the 2011 Census.[1] The settlement is of Saxon origin. Hatfield House, home of the Marquess of Salisbury, forms the nucleus of the old town. From the 1930s when de Havilland opened a factory until the 1990s when British Aerospace closed it, aircraft design and manufacture employed more people there than any other industry. Hatfield was one of the post-war New Towns built around London and has much modernist architecture from the period. The University of Hertfordshire is based there.

Hatfield lies 20 miles (30 kilometres) north of London beside the A1(M) motorway and has direct trains to London King's Cross railway station, Finsbury Park and Moorgate. There has been a strong increase in commuters who work in London moving to the area[3]

History

Early history

In the Saxon period Hatfield was known as Hetfelle, but by the year 970, when King Edgar gave 5,000 acres (20 km2) to the monastery of Ely, it had become known as Haethfeld. Hatfield is mentioned in the Domesday Book as the property of the Abbey of Ely, and unusually, the original census data which compilers of Domesday used still survives, giving us slightly more information than in the final Domesday record.[4] No other records remain until 1226, when Henry III granted the Bishops of Ely rights to an annual four-day fair and a weekly market. The town was then called Bishop's Hatfield.

Hatfield House is the seat of the Cecil family, the Marquesses of Salisbury. Elizabeth Tudor was confined there for three years in what is now known as "The Old Palace" in Hatfield Park. Legend has it that it was here in 1558, while sitting under an oak tree in the Park, that she learned that she had become Queen following the death of her half-sister, Queen Mary I. She held her first Council in the Great Hall (The Old Palace) of Hatfield. In 1851, the route of the Great North Road (now the A1000) was altered to avoid cutting through the grounds of Hatfield House.

Church of St Etheldreda in Old Hatfield.

The town grew up around the gates of Hatfield House. Old Hatfield retains many historic buildings, notably the Old Palace, St Etheldreda's Church and Hatfield House. The Old Palace was built by the Bishop of Ely, Cardinal Morton, in 1497, during the reign of Henry VII, and the only surviving wing is still used today for Elizabethan-style banquets. St Etheldreda's Church was founded by the monks from Ely, and the first wooden church, built in 1285, was probably sited where the existing building stands overlooking the old town.

Aerospace industry

The Comet; the carving of the pillar is by Eric Kennington

In 1930 the de Havilland airfield and aircraft factory was opened at Hatfield and by 1949 it had become the largest employer in the town, with almost 4,000 staff.[5] It was taken over by Hawker Siddeley in 1960 and merged into British Aerospace in 1978.[6] In the 1930s it produced a range of small biplanes. During the Second World War it produced the Mosquito fighter bomber and developed the Vampire, the second British production jet aircraft after the Gloster Meteor. After the war, facilities were expanded and it developed the Comet airliner (the world's first production jet liner), the Trident airliner, and an early bizjet, the DH125.

British Aerospace closed the Hatfield site in 1993 having moved the BAe 146 production line to Woodford Aerodrome. The land was used as a film set for Steven Spielberg's movie Saving Private Ryan and most of the BBC/HBO television drama Band of Brothers. It was later developed for housing, higher education, commerce and retail. Part of the former British Aerospace site was intended to be the site of a £500 million new hospital to replace the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Welwyn GC and a new campus for Oaklands College, but both projects were cancelled.[]

Today, Hatfield's aviation history is remembered by the names of certain local streets and pubs (e.g. Comet Way, The Airfield, Dragon Road) as well as The Comet Hotel (now owned by Ramada) built in the 1930s. The Harrier Pub (formerly The Hilltop) is actually named after the Harrier bird, not the aircraft, hence the original pub sign showing the bird. The de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre, at Salisbury Hall in nearby London Colney, preserves and displays many historic de Havilland aeroplanes and related archives.[7]

New Town

Hatfield New Town centre, looking west along its axis.

The Abercrombie Plan for London in 1944 proposed a New Town in Hatfield. It was designated in the New Towns Act 1946, forming part of the initial Hertfordshire group with nearby Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth. The Government allocated 2,340 acres (9.5 km2) for Hatfield New Town, with a population target of 25,000.[5] (By 2001 the population had reached 27,833.[8]) The Hatfield Development Corporation, tasked with creating the New Town, chose to build a new town centre, rejecting Old Hatfield because it was on the wrong side of the railway, without space for expansion and "with its intimate village character, out of scale with the town it would have to serve."[5] They chose instead St Albans Road on the town's east-west bus route. A road pattern was planned that offered no temptation to through traffic to take short cuts through the town and which enabled local traffic to move rapidly.[5]

Hatfield retains New Town characteristics, including much modernist architecture of the 1950s and the trees and open spaces that were outlined in the original design. As of 2017, a redevelopment of the town centre is planned.[9]

Governance

Hatfield is part of Welwyn Hatfield borough council in the county of Hertfordshire. It is a civil parish and has a town council. It is twinned with the Dutch port town of Zierikzee. Hatfield is part of the Welwyn Hatfield constituency, which includes Welwyn Garden City. The MP for Welwyn Hatfield is Grant Shapps, (Conservative).

Climate

Hatfield experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) like most of the United Kingdom.

Climate data for Hatfield
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8
(46)
9
(48)
12
(54)
14
(57)
18
(64)
21
(70)
23
(73)
23
(73)
20
(68)
16
(61)
11
(52)
8
(46)
15
(59)
Average low °C (°F) 5
(41)
5
(41)
6
(43)
8
(46)
10
(50)
13
(55)
15
(59)
16
(61)
13
(55)
11
(52)
8
(46)
5
(41)
10
(50)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 50.7
(1.996)
39.9
(1.571)
31.7
(1.248)
46.2
(1.819)
38.9
(1.531)
46.4
(1.827)
33.1
(1.303)
43.6
(1.717)
49.7
(1.957)
70.7
(2.783)
58.1
(2.287)
56.9
(2.24)
565.9
(22.28)
Source: [10]

Culture and recreation

The south wing of The Galleria with the connecting bridge on the right of the photograph, viewed from its north wing.
EE Head Office in Hatfield Business Park.
The memorial garden built alongside the East Coast Main Line.
Hatfield railway station viewed from the public footbridge.
Statue of Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury in front of the park gates of Hatfield House.

Hatfield has a nine-screen Odeon cinema, a stately home (Hatfield House), a museum (Mill Green Museum), a contemporary art gallery (Art and Design Gallery), a theatre (The Weston Auditorium) and a music venue (The Forum Hertfordshire). There are shopping centres in the new town: the Galleria (indoor shopping centre), The Stable Yard (Hatfield House), and at two supermarkets (ASDA and Tesco).

Sport

Hatfield Town F.C. in Non-League football plays at Gosling Sports Park.

The town also has one public swimming pool, and four sports/leisure centres (two with indoor swimming pools).

Education

Hatfield contains numerous primary and secondary schools, including The Ryde School, St. Philip Howard Catholic Primary School, Onslow St Audrey's School and Bishops Hatfield Girls School and the independent day and boarding girls' school Queenswood School.

The University of Hertfordshire is based in Hatfield. A large section of the airfield site was purchased by the University and the £120 million de Havilland Campus, incorporating a £15 million Sports Village, was opened in September 2003. The university has closed its sites at Watford and Hertford; faculties situated there have been moved to the de Havilland Campus.

The equine branch of the Royal Veterinary College is based in Hatfield.[11]

Places of interest

Transport

Hatfield is 20 miles (32 km) to the north of London. It is 14 miles (23 km) from London Luton Airport and also near Stansted airport. The A1(M) runs through a tunnel beneath the town, and it is also close to the M25.

The East Coast railway line from London to York runs through the town, separating the old and new parts. A commuter service connects Hatfield railway station to London King's Cross. A new railway station and car park opened in late 2015. The frequent train service runs directly from Hatfield Station to London King's Cross via Finsbury Park (Victoria Underground Line), taking about 16 minutes to Finsbury Park and 21 minutes to London King's Cross on the fast trains, which run two to three times an hour. An additional train service calls at all stations to Moorgate in the City of London.

There was a fatal rail crash at Hatfield in 2000, which brought track maintenance deficiencies to public attention.[14] A garden beside the East Coast Main Line was built as a memorial to the crash victims.

Notable residents

Business

  • Michael Birch (born 1970), founder of the social network BEBO, lived in Hatfield.
  • Sir Geoffrey de Havilland (1882-1965), founder of De Havilland Aircraft Company
  • Jack Olding (Henry John Douglas Olding, fl. mid-20th c.), wartime tank and tractor importer, came from Hatfield.

Music and dance

Politics, nobility and royalty

Religion

Science and scholarship

Sports

Stage, media and film

Writing

  • Moniza Alvi (born 1954), poet and writer, grew up in Hatfield.
  • Barbara Cartland (1901-2000), author of romances, lived in Hatfield.
  • Geoffrey Drage (1860-1955), non-fiction writer and politician, was born in Hatfield.
  • Nathaniel Lee (c. 1653-1692), poet and playwright, was born in Hatfield, where his father was rector.

Nearby towns and villages

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Town population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 30 October 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ "Parish Headcounts: Welwyn Hatfield". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 2011.
  3. ^ "Out of town but not out of touch". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 17 February 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ Hatfield And Its People, Workers Educational Association, 13 vols., 1959-1966
  5. ^ a b c d Brett, Lionel, Hatfield New Town, Report of the Hatfield Development Corporation, 1949
  6. ^ http://hatfieldaviationheritage.co.uk/hatfield-aerodrome/[dead link]
  7. ^ "de Havilland Aircraft Museum". www.dehavillandmuseum.co.uk. Retrieved .
  8. ^ Office for National Statistics, 2001 Census, Key Statistics for HCC Settlements Archived 26 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "Hatfield Town Centre Redevelopment". www.welhat.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 25 August 2017.
  10. ^ "Averages for Hatfield".
  11. ^ "RVC Equine". Royal Veterinary College. Archived from the original on 1 April 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ Logan, Ross. 2016. "Ed Sheeran And Rupert Grint Shoot Lego House Video At Forum Hertfordshire In Hatfield". Welwyn Hatfield Times. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 January 2017. Retrieved 2016..
  13. ^ "The Galleria - Outlet Shopping in Hertfordshire". thegalleria.co.uk. Archived from the original on 9 April 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ "Hatfield crash 'was disaster waiting to happen'". The Daily Telegraph. 31 January 2005. Archived from the original on 10 February 2018.
  15. ^ Discogs Babe Ruth Archived 21 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine.; Bobby Shred's Babe Ruth Tribute Page. Archived 14 January 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ "Sandra Conley". The Oxford Dictionary of Dance. Archived from the original on 12 November 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  17. ^ Donovan, Leitch (2006). The Hurdy Gurdy Man. Arrow. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-09948703-6.
  18. ^ "Dr Lokusatu Heva Sumanadasa - pilot, engineer and educator". www.hatfield-herts.co.uk. Archived from the original on 8 May 2012. Retrieved 2011.
  19. ^ "Profile: Iain Dowie". The Times. London. 1 August 2003. Retrieved 2008.
  20. ^ "Guy Ritchie Biography". The Biography Channel. Retrieved 2007.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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