The history of Smallford is rich in heritage and diversity which has evolved over the many centuries since it first appeared on maps – initially not as Smallford at all!

Occupations: 1841 census

Occupations: 1841 census

The National Census has recorded everyone’s address and occupation almost every ten years (except in 1941) since 1841.  By collecting the census records from Smallford during this period, a good overview of the changing patterns of life and range of work available can...

Butterwick Wood

Butterwick Wood

Another farm not in use today is Butterwick. In fact the farm homestead has gone too, consumed in the process of winning gravel from under that part of the farm south of the branch railway. The part north of the railway came into the hands of the District Council and...

Market Gardening

Market Gardening

The farms around Smallford were typical in the southern part of the county wherever they focused on grain. The late 19th century collapse of grain prices caused enormous economic hardship and many farm employees and casual labourers were laid off. Prominent...

Station Road

Station Road

The road now known as Station Road, was, before the arrival of the branch railway, called Smallford Lane. Strange really, because the road which connects Hatfield Road with the former Smallford hamlet is called Colney Heath Lane! In fact, both those lanes from...

Welcome to the Turnpike

Welcome to the Turnpike

The very long Reading and Hatfield Turnpike Trust road, 51 miles, interconnected with other turnpike roads, and came into use in the 1760s. At the Hatfield end it began at what was then the Old Fiddle public house (now Old Fiddle Cottages), making a connection with...

The Parish Pest House

The Parish Pest House

The parish of St Peter constructed an isolation hospital for infectious diseases. It was a large house which included private accommodation for a nurse. Food and other requirements were left at the gate and collected by the nurse in charge. Although it is not known...

Farriers Near Smallford

Farriers Near Smallford

In a demonstration of the reliance on horses and simple machinery for much of the farm work, as well as the needs of travellers, there were three farriers within a short distance of each other during the 19th century. The blacksmith’s forge next to the Three...

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...

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