Heathfield Works

Industrial site by Harpenden Common

By Rosemary Ross

Photo:Pen drawing of Heathfield works, before it was destroyed by fire in 1916

Pen drawing of Heathfield works, before it was destroyed by fire in 1916

LHS archives, BF 16.1

Harpenden Fire Station stands on the site of an industrial site on the west side of Leyton Road, behind the Silver Cup, known as Heathfield Works. An early C19 engraving shows the building when it was the residence of Thomas Reynolds. From 1805 to 1856 it was let to James Wyatt, a barrister.

A number of enterprises have been associated with Heathfield Works:

  • Field's Hat Factory was here from the 1870s until it moved to Grove Road (Southdown) in 1883, and then to Kingcroft Road in 1927.

Photo:Abbott's factory, c.1960

Abbott's factory, c.1960

LHS Archives, Jim Jarvis collection (donated 2013)

  • Abbott, Anderson & Abbott Ltd, manufacturers of oilskins since 1867 who moved here in 1883.














(see also http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Anderson,_Abbott_and_Anderson for some further information.)  A disastrous fire destroyed the factory full of very flammable material on 21 February 1916. They moved to temporary accommodation in Southdown, until the premises were rebuilt, and continued there until 1964, when the firm was acquired by Edward MacBean and Co. of Glasgow and all production work was transferred to Scotland.

  • The Cooper Printing Equipment Co. Ltd., Heathfield Works, Leyton Road, who produced flexographic printing presses, sheet-fed flexo and ancillary equipment, stereo manufacturing equipment and special purpose printing machines.
  • Harpenden Garden Centre occupied the site after the demolition of the Abbott & Anderson factory in the 1990s, until the fire-station was built. The Garden Centre moved to Amenbury Lane, until the Village Surgery was built on that site in c.2004, after moving from 15 Leyton Road.

Harpenden Fire Station moved from its premises alongside Park Hall in 1994. Coopers Mews, a gated housing development, was built in 2003.

Photo:Harpenden Fire Station

Harpenden Fire Station

LHS archives









There was a refreshment hut on the green next to the Silver Cup

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Heathfield Works' page


LHS Archives photo 7603









Some Abbott advertisements

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Photo:The Abbott brand

The Abbott brand

LHS archives, BF 16.1 b

Photo:Label for use of oilskin

Label for use of oilskin

LHS archives, BF 16.1 c

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This page was added by Rosemary Ross on 05/03/2013.