Since February 1994, I have been researching in depth the history of the Leverstock Green Area from prehistoric times to the present day. Any information I uncover, (either from pre-published sources including books, maps, press-cuttings, census returns, magazines, directories etc.; the collective memory of past residents of the village, or from original documents) once collated, is entered into my computer documents on the Chronicle in a strictly chronological sequence, with information concerning the source of each entry. The document thus created is called The Leverstock Green Chronicle. I also have also maintained for over 15 years contemporary press cuttings on the village, and albums of original and copied documents concerning the village. My especial thanks go to a group of ladies who have helped catalogue this information in recent years.

Because I felt it important that every item of information could be traced easily by a reader to its source, most entries have at the end a reference in a set of square brackets.  This not only satisfies curiosity, but gives recognition to the author of specific theories or information related to Leverstock Green, and enables other local historians and in particular family historians a ready means by which they can trace the information contained in the entry and use it as a starting point for further research. This is particularly helpful when original documentation from the various Record Offices has been quoted.  Click here for the list of Source references not listed in full at each entry.  Alternatively some of the abbreviations etc. are listed below.

The following abbreviations have been used throughout the Leverstock Green Chronicle when giving references :

Cha.News - Chambersbury News ( Parish magazine for Chambersbury. Dates for relevant publication given with individual sources.)

Echo  - The Evening Echo, publication dates given at each reference.

Express - Hemel Hempstead Express; the Express is the free paper produced by the H.H.Gazette. Date of publication given with each extract.

Gazette - Hemel Hempstead Gazette ; publication dates given with each extract or reference.

GORHAM - Schedule of Manorial Records - Gorhambury Collection.  This refers to information taken purely from the catalogue of documents from the Gorhambury Estate, held at HALS rather than from the specific document(s).  If the document itself has been used to obtain information then it will have its own source reference detailing the reference number at the Hertfordshire Record Office.

HALS - Hertfordshire Archive and Local Studies - previously known as the Hertfordshire Record Office. The reference usually is followed by the individual reference number used to locate the document or documents for use in the Sources room. Occasionally where a document is of particular importance, it will also have its own "S" number giving an idea of what the document contains.

H.Adv. - Herts Advertiser - date of publication given with each extract.

HHH&P - The Hemel Hempstead Herald and Post,  publication dates given at each reference.

HRO - Hertfordshire Record Office.  These references should all have been altered to HALS references, (see above) but the occasional one may have slipped through the net.

Kel.Dir.- Kelley's Directory of Hertfordshire. The following years' records were consulted:
1850,1860,1870,1878,1882,1886,1890,1898.1902,1908,1910,1912,1917,1922,1926,1929, 1933.

LGVA - Information obtained from various Leverstock Green Village Association publications and documents, and including advertisements for events displayed in the Village Hall and the various shops in the Village Centre. 

MAIL - Hemel Hempstead Mail, publication dates given at each reference.

VCH -  Victoria County History for Hertfordshire, with volume and page  reference where applicable.  The extracts are reproduced by permission of the General Editor.

S - The suffix given to each individual source, other than those prefixed by one of the abbreviations above and  followed by a number from 1- infinity and allocated in strict numerical order according to the time when a source was originally referenced.  For Example S1 was consulted originally before S53 etc. This list of references is continually being added to as new additional sources are consulted.  The intention being that anyone reading the Leverstock Green Chronicle text can see immediately from whence any item of  information was gleaned according to the reference given in square brackets. [ ] e.g. The following two entries show  that the first information came from the Victoria County History, and the second from the Leverstock Green School Log Book.:  

February 25th, 1900  - Nathaniel Wishart Robinson bequeathed  £500  to be invested, and the income to be applied in lighting, warming and repairing the Church. [VCH vol.. 2 p230 ] 

November 30th 1900 - Mumps was obviously rife in the village as Mr. Ford recorded that over 30 children were away with the disease. It would also appear from Mr. Ford's comments of Feb.. 1st 1901, that it wasn't just effecting the children in the village. (See entry for that date.) [S73]

The complete list of source references can be viewed by clicking here, or on  Source References in the list to the left.

My researches were initially sponsored by The Leverstock Green Parish Trust with the intention eventually of printing enough full copies of The Chronicle to distribute to local schools, the libraries, and the Herts. Record Office. They also hope eventually to publish an edited version of the Chronicle for sale to the general public.

In the meantime, the Leverstock Green edition of Chambersbury News, (The parish magazine) publishes monthly instalments of The Chronicle, or individual articles concerned with Leverstock Green's history. For anyone interested in reading what has been published so far, both Leverstock Green Library and the Local Studies Library at Hemel Hempstead have copies of all the information published to date in the parish magazine, along with copies of many of the many transcripts I have undertaken to date of documents held at the Hertfordshire Record Office.

As a spin off from The Chronicle, in April 1996 I published  a book in the Chalford Publishing Company's Archive Photograph Series, entitled Leverstock Green & Bennetts End ( ISBN 0 7524 0373 7); and at the end of July 1996 staged an extremely well received exhibition on the history of the Leverstock Green area in Leverstock Green Village Hall.

More information on my local history research can be viewed by clicking on the various links to the left.

Ten years further along the march of time (2006)  and my second book was published:  Leverstock Green's Lost Properties.  I am continuing to undertake research and update the website as time allows, but my previous position as Chairman of the Leverstock Green Village Association (1996-2013) took up much of my time.  I am also on the committee of the Hemel Hempstead Local History & Museum Society, for whom I have created and maintain a website.  In addition I am on the committee of the Friends of Dacorum Museum, 

2015 Update: For a variety of reasons I can no longer spend the same amount of time as in the past on my research and updating this website, though I DO still explore our local history and continue to find new historic items of interest. e.g.from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/ which now publishes items online.

It is still my intention to update existing pages on the Leverstock Green Chronicle website and to add new information, and I have already made a small start on this.

If you have any information relating to Leverstock Green's history and members of your family who lived here, including photographs, ephemera etc.please contact me so I can arrange a meeting and/or exchange email addresses so I can include your information in my archive of Leverstock Green's history.

​Thankyou   Barbara Chapman 28/3/2015
This page was last updated on: April 2, 2017
Links to Chronicle texts, maps, and specific items on Leverstock Green's history are to be found  at the top, to the left of this page,or lower down. Just click on the item you wish to view.  
If for any reason a link does not work, please contact me with details.
HEMEL HEMPSTEAD LOCAL HISTORY & MUSEUM SOCIETY


Abreviations & Glossary 
of terms used throughout 
the LG Chronicle.

Source References

Transciptions

NEW PAGES & 
RECENT UPDATES

PUBLICATIONS

A Note About Dates, &
Their Use




Outline History of 
Leverstock Green


Local History Research

Local History Publications



Distinguished & Famous Faces Connected to Leverstock Green


Listed Buildings of Historical & Archaeological Importance in Leverstock Green

ARCHAEOLOGY 

Archaeology found at
 Junction 8 of M1

Archaeological Sites Map

Archaology Exhibition 
held 22nd October 2007
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
The Stone Age

The Bronze & Iron Ages

Historical Maps 
(Link to seperate website containing various maps about Leverstock Green.)

[Link to www.old-map.co.uk]

Roman Times

Post Roman Times

Saxon Times

The Manor of Westwick

The Gorhambury Estate & Leverstock Green






Ancient & Historic Hedgerows

The Middle Ages

Property, Tenants & Tenure from the Middle Ages to the 19th Century.

11th ~ 12th Centuries

The de Goreham Family of Westwick

13th Century

FAMOUS FACES FROM LEVERSTOCK GREEN
PRE 1900


The Manor of Market Oak
(alias Leverstock Green)

The Great Tithe Barn of Westwick

14th Century

15th Century - General Comments

15th Century - by date entry


16th Century - General Comments

16th Century - by date entry

1569 Gorhambury Survey

LOST PROPERTIES:

Tile Kiln Lane Farm

Woodlane end Farm

Cox Pond Farm

Chambersbury

Orchard Lea

Woodside

Logandene

The Vicarage/Danehurst

Belconey & The Masons Arms

The Three Horseshoes

The Baptist Chapel

Northend Farm

Post Office, Stores & The White Horse PH

The National Schools, Bedmond Road

An Early Cottage

Handpost Lodge & a Lost Roman Villa

The Manor of Chambersbury

The 17th Century - General Comments

1601 - 1641
The Early Stuarts 
(items by date entry)


The Finch Family of Corner Farm

1642-1666 Civil War & Commonwealth 
(items by date entry)

Leverstock Green Farm, alias Carpenter's Farm (Abbots Langley parish), 17th~20th centuries

1666- 1700 
Restoration and beyond
(items by date entry)


1696 Gorhambury Survey


The Hannell family 
of Westwick Row
17th & 18th centuries.


18th Century 
general comments

1701 ~ 1760
The time of Queen Anne 
& the Early Georgian era
(items by date entry)


1761~ 1775
The Mid Georgian era
(items by date entry)

1763 - Inventory of the Goods & Chattels of Robert Fellows at the Sign of the Leather Bottle.


1768 Gorhambury Estate Survey 


1776 ~ 1800
The Later Georgian Era
(items by date entry)


Church Cottages, a brief history

THE ROSE & CROWN PH

BENNETTS END FARM
sometime in the possession of:
the Puddephatt family (16th-18th centuries); William, John & Richard Steward; Richard Ginger; William Orchard; Herbert Doult, The Development Corporatoin for the New Town of Hemel Hempstead & others.

The 19th Century ~ General

The Early 19th Century
1801 ~ 1840
(items by date entry)


Early 19th Century Sales of Cox Pond Farms 
(Includes photographs of two early maps of the estates.)


The Tithe Surveys
1839/1840

1840~1860
The Early Victorian era
(by date entry)

A Church for Leverstock Green
(The Building of Holy Trinity,
consecrated 1849.)

Vicars of Holy Trinity Church

Early Churchwardens' Acounts, 1850-1890

1851 Census

1860~1870
(by date entry)

School Log Books:
1863 & 1864
Helen Key Purvis

School Log Books
1865 & 1866
Helen Key Purvis

School Log Books
1867 & 1868
Helen Key Purvis

School Log Books
1869 to 1871
Helen Key Purvis
(& Hannah Mayhew)

1871~1880
(by date entry)

Daniel How of Woodlane End Farm. High Bailiff of Hemel Hempstead


Matthew Leno Senior, Feather Fancier & High Bailiff


School Log Books
1872~1875
Alethea Bonika

School Log Books
July 1875 ~ March 1878
Dora G Lowe

School Log Books
1878~1885
Florence Caroline Tisoe


Early School Photos




The Leverstock Green Village Sign ~
a link with our past.
an account by Barbara Chapman

At 11 a.m. On the morning of Saturday 11 December 1999, in torrential rain and a high wind, I was joined on the green in front of Church Cottages by a fair number of local residents determined to brave the weather and see the new village sign unveiled.  

Earlier in the week the sign's maker: David Woollacott from Amber Signs of Berkhamsted, had with the help of a local builder, erected the sign on its oak post and flint encrusted plinth.  Leaving it tantalisingly shrouded in bubble wrap and a linen cover.  Audrey Armstrong having cleverly made a loose cover which I could quickly remove at the correct moment, the bubble wrap had been removed earlier in the morning.  However, the driving rain had shrunk the knots in the bow, and removal wasn't quite as instant as we'd hoped!  However, success wasn't long coming, and after gathering around the sign so the Gazette photographer could do his stuff,  we all gladly retired to the Village Hall for a warming glass of punch and a mince pie.  

Several people then asked me the significance of the wording (other than the village name) both on the sign and the brass plaque fixed to the base of the oak pole and asked if I could put a piece in the Parish Magazine explaining. 

Agreed to by the members of Leverstock Green Village Association Committee the general design for the sign ( a pencil sketch) complete with its wording was mine. The idea coming from the numerous pictorial village signs to be found throughout Norfolk. The only significant difference between my original sketch and the finished sign being  a carved wooden boss in the style of Grindling Gibbons denoting an acorn and several oak leaves atop the shield.  My intention when drawing up the original design was to indicate Leverstock Green's heritage of the last millennium so that it doesn't get forgotten with all the changes life in the twenty-first century will bring. A reminder that we are not the only generation to have lived and worked in Leverstock Green.

Despite being given a fairly free hand with the design, Teresa Woollacott of Amber Signs chose to use my idea as the basis for her design, but I think you will agree, has transformed it with jewel-rich colours into something really striking.  The wooden boss proved impractical, but the shield's outline was altered to allow for a painted version. I understand sand blasting to have been the main technique used to create the translucent quality of the paint.  It should also make it more durable to the elements.

The acorn and the oak leaves were important for several reasons. Firstly they are already used as part of the logo for Leverstock Green School - reproduced on their sweatshirts - so the image in association with the village is already established.  Secondly, we are now part of Dacorum Borough Council, and again, their logo incorporates acorns and oak leaves.  Finally, one of the aliases for the 14th to 17th century tiny Manor of Leverstock Green was Market Oak (or more often Markate Oake).  Several of the original fields along the Bedmond Road have the name Market Oak incorporated in them, and during the latter part of the last century and the early part of this, an ancient Oak Tree, standing along the edge of the Bedmond Road was known as THE Market Oak.  Sometimes straw plaiters would sell their wares beneath its boughs (according to hearsay) and there is a reference in the school log book in 1864 "Thursday 3rd(October)- Market day - Very cold  - let the children go for a run as far as Market Oak."

From Saxon times to the abolition of manorial courts in the 1920's, the Manor of Westwick was the principle manor of the village.  The manor as a whole stretched from Green Lane in the west to Pimlico, and incorporated Potters Crouch Gorhambury and Pre.  Indeed for much of its history following the dissolution the names Gorhambury and Westwick were synonymous - or almost.  The name still survives along Westwick Row with Westwick Farm, Westwick Cottage, Westwick Warren and Westwick Row Farm; and indeed we have two Women's Institutes in Leverstock Green: Leverstock Green WI and Westwick WI.  Westwick was important in  medieval times as it supplied the wherewithal to keep the Abbey at St. Albans supplied with all its needs for the refectory, either in kind or in funds from timber etc. Westwick's chief crops were arable, and a huge tithe barn was situated along Westwick Roe more or less opposite today's Westwick Warren. We now know that, for some of the time at least, Westwick's manor house was situated at Westwick Cottage (some parts of which when dated from some of its timbers proved to have been built between  1184 &1219) These facts persuaded me to show medieval peasants ploughing the land, as almost all of Westwick's land was under the plough at this time.

The bottom half of the sign shows medieval peasants felling trees.  This seemed appropriate on several counts, as in the early middle ages much of the land which had become encroached on by woodland since the demise of Roman rule, would have had to have been cleared in order to reveal the good arable land beneath.  In addition, the word "stoc" means a tree stump. It is possible that the name Leverstock Green refers in some way to a tree stump.  We know from old documents that assarts had been created - that is land where the trees were felled, and woodland cleared.

The wording in the bottom half of the shield: Manor of Markate Oak, (Langley with Westwick) or Levestistocke Greene, gives three of the alternative names and spellings of the small Manor of Market Oak mentioned above.  Originally part of the manor of Westwick, this small manor stretching from what is now Church Road to Blackwater Lane between the two main roads, was carved out and given to the nuns of Markyate Priory in the 13th century. (Hence the name Markate; it eventually became part of the whole manor again in the 17th century.) Many documents relating to this manor referred to: ".......in the Manor of Markate Oake alias Langley with Westwick alias Leverstock Green (spelt in a variety of ways including Levestistocke)

Leverstock Green proper was in fact just a green - i.e. A stretch of common land on either side of the straight Roman Road, and ran from where Church Cottages are now to High Street Green.  The village (as it was before the changes caused by the coming o f the New Town, ) grew up from the 17th  century at the point where the roads diverted towards Watford and St. Albans, with settlement still remaining (as it has to this day) along Westwick Row.

The wording on the brass plaque fixed to the oak post reads:

This sign was caused to be erected by 
LEVERSTOCK GREEN 
 VILLAGE ASSOCIATION  
at the beginning of the year 
2000 AD 
to commemorate the vigorous community 
which has flourished here during past  millennia 
and which continues in strength into the new Millennium, 
proud of its own identity.

We have documentary and archaeological proof that  people lived and worked in the immediate area of Leverstock Green from the time of the Roman occupation onwards.  Recent research indicates that settlement along Westwick Row may well date back even further to the Iron age and perhaps the Bronze Age.  It seems quite likely that this settlement was a "suburb" of  the major Iron Age settlement at Pre Wood just outside St. Albans.  We will continue the tradition of the last two millennia into the third.

I hope Leverstock Green's residents will come to  feel as proud of this symbol of Leverstock Green's identity as I was  when I unveiled it for all to see.

                Barbara Chapman
     Chairman LGVA & Local Historian.
                   January 2000
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Spring 2004, Leverstock Green.  
Daffodils planted autumn 2002 by LGVA.
All photographs and scans of HALS documents shown on this website are published here with the kind permission of Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies.
THE LEVERSTOCK GREEN CHRONICLE
A detailed history of one village in Hertfordshire, UK
A detailed history of one village in Hertfordshire, UK, by Barbara Chapman
1881 census  

1881~1890
(by date entry)


BRICKMAKING in the 
Leverstock Green area

1891~1900
Late Victorian Era
(by date entry)

The Rev George Finch
Vicar of Holy Trinity 
Leverstock Green
1871 ~ 1899


Brief History of 
The Leverstock Green Parish Trust and its links to LGVA


Levertsock Green Football Club, founded 1895/1896


Relative Values or
LIVING WITH INFLATION
from 1600 to 2001

 The Leverstock Green Chronicle - THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-
Contents page.

Parish Registers Covering Leverstock Green

Miscellaneous individual FAMILY HISTORIES.
THE LEVERSTOCK GREEN CHRONICLE 
pre-history to 1899
Click to link to the following
Leverstock Green Chronicle  Maplinks page 
(for large scale and old maps of the area.)

20th Century Leverstock Green   Glossary      21st Century Leverstock Green

The Village Sign
February 2016 - Village Sign Renewed due to heavy weathering  -
details to follow once it is back in situ about middle of April/May 2016
RIGHT: Feb 6 2016 sign removed for renewal.
CHANGES TO THE FABRIC OF HOLY TRINITY CHURCH
HOLY TRINITY CHURCH's   STAINED GLASS 
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