The new road attracts

The new road attracts

The Trust of the turnpike road, which came into use in the 1760s, felt there was a need to establish a toll gate at the cross roads, and a corner-facing brick-built tollkeeper’s house was constructed.The toll gate encouraged the siting of a public house – the Three...
Smallford and the Four Wants

Smallford and the Four Wants

This map was drawn by Dury and Andrews in 1766, and was surveyed a few years before the Reading and Hatfield Turnpike Trust arrived to toll the Hatfield road (the west-east road in the top third of the map below). To the left is the hamlet of Smallford, named Small...
Where is Smallford here?

Where is Smallford here?

This map, made by William Kip and printed a full two centuries before the first Ordnance Survey map (1834), helps us to understand why all maps are not the same. On the Kip map Smallford is not even marked and named, but that is not to say there was no farm or...
A stream to ford

A stream to ford

The topography suggests that, between them, Boggy Mead Spring and Butterwick Brook, both of which are still viable streams, could have been referred to in the name Smallford. The ford was across the lower end of Colney Heath Lane, which, today, has been culverted, and...
Down at the small ford

Down at the small ford

Small rural hamlets are always vulnerable to population changes, resulting from land-owner needs, epidemic diseases, extreme poverty, the impulse to move on, and shifts in agricultural practices.  But there seems to be little doubt that this was the earliest community...
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