High Street and village/town centre

The centre of Harpenden is characterised by the greens which run along the High Street from Station Road to Sun Lane.  These greens were part of the 'Waste' of the Rothamsted Manor estate, and were not formally handed over to the Harpenden Urban District Council by the then Lord of the Manor, Sir Charles Lawes, until 1900, on the undertaking that they would be preserved for the community.  Old photos show the Cock Pond, before it was drained in 1929 and the drainage stream along Lower High Street was culverted.  Small foot-bridges linked Lower High Street to the main High Street, which was tree-lined on both sides. 

Until the end of the nineteenth century most of the cottages along the High Street were timber-framed and many have given way to the parades of shops which appeared from the 1890s.  Dramatic photos record the destruction of Polly Nott's cottage to make way for shops at the corner of Vaughan Road around 1900.  In 1936 Bowers Parade masked Bowers House, a most distinguished building overlooking the pond, and replaced a picturesque thatched cottage.  In the 1960s Lines' smithy and forge was replaced by Anvil House (shops and flats).   

But some old buildings have survived - The Old Cock pub, 68-72 High Street (The Old Red Lion), The Pollards (41 High Street, currently a restaurant), The Cross Keys and several buildings on Lower High Street (65 - 73).

We hope to tell the story of some of the many shops that have come and gone, and what we know of the buildings they replaced, by searching our extensive collection of photos, which is regularly being updated as the face of the High Street changes.  We hope you will be willing to help in this project.

Page link: 125 years of Barclays Bank
125 years of Barclays Bank
Harpenden's Barclays Bank - from Jubilee to Jubilee
Page link: 6 High Street, Harpenden
6 High Street, Harpenden
From Dr Kingston's House to M&Co - 1860s-2012
Page link: 65 High Street, Harpenden
65 High Street, Harpenden
Wall-paintings imitating panelling, as seen in the 1970s
Page link: Ben and Clara Rowe
Ben and Clara Rowe
Married 60 Years in 1967- still busily working
Page link: Bowers House
Bowers House
The house and its inhabitants from the 16th century
Page link: Church Green in the early 1890s
Church Green in the early 1890s
A panoramic view formed from old prints
Page link: Elm trees in Harpenden
Elm trees in Harpenden
Ancient trees lost to Dutch elm disease
Page link: Farmsteads on Harpenden High Street
Farmsteads on Harpenden High Street
Home Farm, Yew Tree Farm and Bowers Farm
Page link: From Kirkwick to Glen Eagle Manor Hotel
From Kirkwick to Glen Eagle Manor Hotel
The fate of another Victorian family home in Harpenden
Page link: Gardener's cottage, Lydekker estate
Gardener's cottage, Lydekker estate
2 Luton Road, Harpenden
Page link: Gibraltar Bar and
Gibraltar Bar and "Rose Lane"
Tracking down the Toll Gates or Bars between Harpenden and Luton
Page link: Harpenden in the 1860s, recalled in 1935
Harpenden in the 1860s, recalled in 1935
The Parish Church; the 'rope walk'; and village pranksters
Page link: Harpenden Shops in 1963
Harpenden Shops in 1963
A Harpenden Free Press Survey of Local Businesses - 21 May 1963
Page link: Harpenden Town Trail 1 - The High Street
Harpenden Town Trail 1 - The High Street
A photo gallery with links to more information and pictures
Page link: Harpenden Village Pond
Harpenden Village Pond
Heated debate in the Herts Advertiser of 1890 about the future of the Cock pond
Page link: Harpenden's Oldest House?
Harpenden's Oldest House?
From Local History Society Newsletter No 1 1974
Page link: Harpenden's Post Office
Harpenden's Post Office
Expansion and contraction over more than 160 years
Page link: Harpenden's Storm Floods - Sunday 21 June 1936
Harpenden's Storm Floods - Sunday 21 June 1936
Report in the Herts Advertiser - Scenes of 1879 vividly recalled
Page link: Inn on the Green
Inn on the Green
From hardware shop to pub in 100 years
Page link: James Busby
James Busby
Founder of Busby's the chemists
Page link: Leyton Hall
Leyton Hall
"A spacious and comfortable hall"
Page link: Memories of a Postal Officer and Postman
Memories of a Postal Officer and Postman
Harpenden Crown Post Office in the 1970s
Page link: Memories of old Harpenden around 1900
Memories of old Harpenden around 1900
An article in Harpenden Free Press, 20 April 1960, illustrated with photos from our archives
Page link: Mr I S Smith's Preparatory Academy, Harpenden
Mr I S Smith's Preparatory Academy, Harpenden
Was this on the corner of Church Green in the 1830s?
Page link: My Aunt's 'Snaps'
My Aunt's 'Snaps'
Photos taken by my Aunt, Marion Lewis, in the early 1950s
Page link: Oggelsby's Centenary - 1873 to 1973
Oggelsby's Centenary - 1873 to 1973
A family's history in the transportation business
Page link: Prize for Harpenden Station gardens, 1949
Prize for Harpenden Station gardens, 1949
Harpenden Free Press report
Page link: Putterills' Garage
Putterills' Garage
Early High Street Photo
Page link: Railway Hotel - Harpenden Arms
Railway Hotel - Harpenden Arms
Marked the arrival of the Midland line to St Pancras
Page link: Reads' Motors
Reads' Motors
Successful business founded by Charles and William Read in 1921
Page link: Shops which closed in 1985
Shops which closed in 1985
and other incidents recorded by Rodney Marshall from 1985-1987
Page link: St Vincent De Paul Hostel
St Vincent De Paul Hostel
Young Offenders Hostel in Harpenden in the 1920s
Page link: Sun Lane corner
Sun Lane corner
Cottages demolished to widen the lane around 1930
Page link: The (Old) Red Lion
The (Old) Red Lion
One of Harpenden's older pub names
Page link: The Cross Keys
The Cross Keys
Formerly The White Hart
Page link: The Old Cock
The Old Cock
A pub in different locations since 1639
Page link: The Putterill family
The Putterill family
Founders of garage and timber businesses
Page link: The Samwells Family in Harpenden
The Samwells Family in Harpenden
Five generations - The Samwells Family and Descendants in Harpenden during the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries
Page link: The White Lion
The White Lion
Distinguished by its Sign
Page link: Tollgate Cottage - Tollgate Hotel
Tollgate Cottage - Tollgate Hotel
Who has lived at 69 High Street
Page link: Victoria Road Schools - 1897 - 1997
Victoria Road Schools - 1897 - 1997
Harpenden's Board School - and new uses when the school moved to Manland
Page link: Waverley Mills
Waverley Mills
Letter by Miss J Lawrence