Sun Lane corner

Cottages demolished to widen the lane around 1930

By Rosemary Ross

Photo:Sun Lane corner, c.1900

Sun Lane corner, c.1900

LHS archives, cat.no. B 2.72

Sun Lane probably derives its name from The Sun pub, but there seems to have been another pub of this name in a different location (more research on this is needed!). However, The Sun, in Sun Lane, may have been at the corner with the High Street from about 1637. In the 1780s it belonged to the Hawkins family, and it closed around 1800 - or maybe as late as 1877. From the photo taken around 1900, the structure appears to be a late C17 timberframed structure, by which time it was occupied as cottages.  In 1861 the schoolmistress of the National School (St Nicholas school) was Miss Jane Grey, who was a boarder at a house in Sun Lane, possibly one of the cottages seen in the views up the lane.

The early structures became clearer when the northern end was demolished in the late 1920s for the widening of Sun Lane. The remaining part of the building (71-73 High Street) was converted into shops in 1955.

Photo:Sun Lane, before it was widened in 1928, involving the removal of the left hand/northern bay of 75 High Street, when the timbers  became exposed

Sun Lane, before it was widened in 1928, involving the removal of the left hand/northern bay of 75 High Street, when the timbers became exposed

LHS archives, cat.no, B 1.2

Photo:Sun Lane, under snow in April 1908

Sun Lane, under snow in April 1908

LHS archives, cat.no. HC 19

Photo:View down Sun Lane, 1920s

View down Sun Lane, 1920s

LHS archives, cat.no. B 1.3

Photo:Widening Sun Lane - 1930-31

Widening Sun Lane - 1930-31

LHS archives - cat.no. B 2.74

Photo:Making good, after demolition of 75 High Street, 1930

Making good, after demolition of 75 High Street, 1930

LHS archives - cat.no. B 2.73

Photo:Sun lane corner - c.1935

Sun lane corner - c.1935

LHS archives - cat.no. LHS 7404

Photo:71-73 High Street in 1975

71-73 High Street in 1975

LHS archives - copyright RCHM

Photo:71-73 High Street, interior, 1975

71-73 High Street, interior, 1975

LHS archives - copyright RCHM

Photo:71-73 High Street, with Tollgate cottage (69 High Street)

71-73 High Street, with Tollgate cottage (69 High Street)

LHS archives

Photo:Extract from 1898 OS map, showing a narrow Sun Lane and no.75 High Street, which was demolished around 1929

Extract from 1898 OS map, showing a narrow Sun Lane and no.75 High Street, which was demolished around 1929

LHS archives

Photo:Extract from 1967 OS map, showing the widened Sun Lane. The cottage is marked as 2, and Harpenden Lodge 12 Luton Road

Extract from 1967 OS map, showing the widened Sun Lane. The cottage is marked as 2, and Harpenden Lodge 12 Luton Road

LHS archives

This page was added by Rosemary Ross on 28/03/2013.
Comments about this page

We live at 2 Luton Road since November 2012 and just can't find any history on this little "dolls house", I have looked through all the info on this site. All I know is that it belonged to the gardener of Lydekker.

Ed. We do not have much information, but in our archive collection we have a delightful watercolour sketch of the cottage by Hilda Lydekker.

By Harriet Maylin
On 25/05/2013

Thank you so so much for the painting about our house. At least we have some info about this beautiful little cottage.

By Harriet Maylin
On 28/05/2013

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