A selection of snippets from various sources relating to or mentioning places around West Watford, which will be added to over time.
The Spectre of Hagden Lane
At the end of the last (18th) or beginning of the present (19th) century, a man known as Jockey Fenson, who resided at the Lower Infirmary, then known as the Pesthouse, committed suicide and as at that day, felo-de-se * was not admitted to Christian burial, a hole was dug in a dell in Hagden Lane, a short distance beyond the turning to Tolpits and Polecat Farm, and he was buried there.
Soon a rumour spread that a spectre clad in white walked the lane nightly and might sometimes be seen sitting on the gates or gliding noiselessly over the adjoining fields, and a great fear seized the children of the town and neighbourhood; indeed, many adults refused to pass the dell or go anywhere near it. The perturbation of the people became so great that the parochial authorities had the body removed and, I understand, it was re-buried at night one corner of the old churchyard.
*felo-de-se - Latin, literally translated "a person who commits suicide or commits an unlawful malicious act resulting in his or her own death"
From History of Watford and Trade Directory - Henry Williams 1884
Charitable Endowments - Holywell
Also from Henry Williams's History of Watford and Trade Directory is a reference to charitable endowments in relation to Dame Fuller's Free School, 'without which the income it possessed in the time of the foundress would have proved wholly inadequate to carry her pious intentions into effect had it not been for the benevolent consideration of subsequent benefactors who bequeathed certain sums to supply the deficiencies'.
However, mention is made of a circumstance noted by Mr Clutterbuck in connection with the said school. He says: "Mr Jonathan Cox Lovett, of Holywell, in this parish, by his will dated the 1st of May, 1780, made a reversionary devise of certain estates consisting of Holywell Farm, etc., to the trustees of this school; this devise, however, from having been made within twelve months of his decease and from not having been enrolled in Chancery, became void by the Act of the 9th of George II. c.36, called the Statute of Mortmain. Had this devise taken effect, the rents of the estates so devised would have been fully adequate to the future support of the school; under existing circumstances, however, its income must, in process of time, from the causes I have mentioned, be insufficient to defray its expenses."
- Around West Watford
- Brightwells Farm
- Cardiff Road - Gallery One
- Cassiobury Miniature Railway
- Colne Valley Light Railway
- Colney Butts
- Heritage Event 2017
- Isolation Hospital
- Museum Exhibition
- NHS@70 Exhibition
- New Memorial Cross at St. Michael's
- Old Postcard Views & Photographs
- Places of Worship
- Poppies, Poetry & Peace
- Street Plaques
- Sun Clock Tower
- Watford - Croxley Branch Line
- Watford Community Fair 2015
- Watford General Hospital
- West Watford Pubs
- Workhouse Bricks
- WW1 Exhibition - Heritage Weekend
- WWCA 40th Anniversary
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The following is a transcript of a talk given by Mary Reid at a meeting of the West Watford History Group in April 2012. ~ o O o ~ ...