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 named Smallford.  In rural early nineteenth century Britain there was no need for services often found in towns, not even a church.  Residents would have been expected to walk to their parish church, St Peter’s, in the centre of St Albans.  Families would have hired a cart to take a coffin to the church for a funeral; if a cart was unaffordable, the family would have had no alternative but to have carried it between them.  

This is the last remaining pair of cottages in Barley Mow Lane.

Barley Mow Lane

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