Welcome to the North Mymms History Project

A growing historical resource of almost 200 books, features, and documents. Feel free to use the comment box beneath any item to add information - you may need to disable any ad blocker software to reveal. Suggestions and content ideas are always welcome.

The historic North Mymms balloon landing

The day Vincenzo Lunardi touched down


Image courtesy of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, USA, released for public use by Archive.org under the terms of Creative Commons
Image courtesy of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington
Released for public use by Archive.org under the terms of Creative Commons

On the afternoon of Wednesday 15 September 1784, North Mymms entered aviation history.

The Italian balloonist, Vincenzo Lunardi, making the first manned aerial voyage over England, touched down briefly in a cornfield near the parish border with Northaw.

Slavery’s North Mymms connections

A microcosm of global “conquest, trade, enrichment and exploitation”


Drawing of Brookmans House by Clutterbuck 1840 Image courtesy of Hertfordshire County Records Office (HCRO)
Drawing of Brookmans  by Clutterbuck 1840
Image courtesy of Hertfordshire County Records Office (HCRO)
Much of the wealth that poured into North Mymms between 1700 and 1850 had direct links to slavery. According to the UCL (University College London) Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership, which traces the impact of slave-ownership on the formation of modern Britain, five Caribbean estates, four in Jamaica and one in Antigua, were at one time in their history, owned by North Mymms residents who, between them, enslaved 690 people.

Assessing the true age of Folly Arch

Is it 200 years older than previously thought?


The Folly Arch, Hawkshead Road, Swanley Bar, North Mymms
Image taken August 2018 by the North Mymms History Project
Released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Folly Arch was thought to have been built around 1740 for Sir Jeremy Sambrooke of Gobions.

But North Mymms History Project archivist, historian Peter Miller, has questioned this and asks whether it could have been built 200 years earlier.

Discovering the 1527 altar piece of Saint Thomas More

Local historians identify and track down early 16th-century mantelpiece 


The 1527 carved oak chimneypiece - Image from the Peter Miller collection
The 1527 carved oak chimneypiece
Image from the Peter Miller collection


Introduction to an exciting piece of historical detective work


In 1930, a carved oak Tudor chimneypiece that originated in More Hall, North Mymms, the Hertfordshire home of the father of Sir Thomas More almost 500 years ago, was sold to a buyer in Birkenhead.

It’s believed the item once stood above a small stone altar in a room where Sir Thomas, who was canonised in 1935 as Saint Thomas More, the patron saint of lawyers, would pray.

Brookmans Park shops in 1994

Bradmore Green at the end of the 20th century 


Montage of Brookmans Park shops 1994

The following slideshow contains 49 photographs of the shops in Brookmans Park as they were in August 1994. The pictures were taken by local photographer Norman Akers and were commissioned by the former North Mymms Local History Society (NMLHS). They are part of the Images of North Mymms collection.

Welham Green shops over the past 100 years

A shopping trip down memory lane 


Montage of images of shops in Welham Green

Click through our slideshow below


The following slideshow features photographs of some of the shops that have served customers in Welham Green from the early 20th century. They have been uploaded from the Images of North Mymms collection.

Policing North Mymms before ‘the police’

Early law and order in North Mymms


Two North Mymms men were transported to Australia  for stealing lead from the roof of the parish church  Sketch of St Mary's in the 1840s by Buckler from the Images of North Mymms collection  Courtesy of Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
Two North Mymms men were transported to Australia
for stealing lead from the roof of the parish church
Sketch of St Mary's in the 1840s by Buckler from the Images of North Mymms collection
Courtesy of Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

In 1784 two North Mymms men, Robert Usher and James Day, were sent to the gallows for stealing a horse. Five years later Thomas Rumbold and Thomas Pateman were transported to Australia for stealing lead from the roof of North Mymms church. Soon after, labourers John Halsey and John Day were whipped for stealing a piece of bacon. Such were the punishments handed out for crimes committed in North Mymms in the 18th century.

Brookmans Park’s nuclear bunker

Cold War site still intact underneath the transmitting station


Brookmans Park Transmitting Station - 1986  Photograph by Ron Kingdon part of the Images of North Mymms Collection
Brookmans Park Transmitting Station - 1986
Photograph by Ron Kingdon, part of the Images of North Mymms Collection

During the Cold War that followed WWII the BBC drew up plans for a Wartime
Broadcasting Service (WTBS) to be activated in the event of a nuclear attack.

A bunker, built underneath the Brookmans Park Transmitting Station, was one of 11 at sites around the country.

The twin-wave broadcasting facility was considered to be a crucial part of the nation’s communications strategy in the event of nuclear war.