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.

Hawkshead Bridge cottages

Oil Painting 9” x 6”   Label on back reads “Folly Lane” Potters Bar from M.C.A. Dec.25 1909  Image from the Peter Miller Collection
Oil Painting 9” x 6” 
Label on back reads “Folly Lane” Potters Bar from M.C.A. Dec.25 1909
Image from the Peter Miller Collection

The oil painting above is dated 1909, and is believed to be the only known image of a pair of cottages that once stood on the south side of Hawkshead Lane to the east of the railway line next to where Hawkshead Bridge is today.

North Mymms WWII defences

How the parish prepared for invasion


Photograph of the type-24 pillbox in the grounds of Queenswood School, North Mymms Image courtesy of Dr Wendy Bird, Archivist at Queenswood School
The type-24 pillbox in the grounds of Queenswood School, North Mymms
Image courtesy of Dr Wendy Bird, Archivist at Queenswood School

Local wartime archeology mapped


North Mymms is rich in WWII history. The Outer London Defence Ring, set up to deter an invasion on the capital, runs through the south-east of the parish. Close to that line, and scattered elsewhere throughout North Mymms, are items of wartime archeological importance in the form of pillboxes, tank traps, gun emplacements, a Tett turret, and anti-tank trenches.

The North Mymms History Project has attempted to map these historical sites as a permanent record of how the parish was fortified for the 1939 to 1945 war. An interactive map is embedded at the foot of this feature.

New light on Gobions

Find reveals previously unrecorded local history



A chance sighting of a familiar North Mymms landmark on an old map in Oxford’s Bodleian Library led researcher Anne Rowe to uncover some previously unrecorded history about the former gardens at Gobions. An 18th century map that featured the estate had been wrongly catalogued. Anne’s find led her and historian Tom Williamson to piece together a fascinating insight into the gardens that once adorned the North Mymms estate. Anne and Tom have given the North Mymms History Project permission to reproduce their research on this site.

Booth tomb North Mymms parish church

North Mymms Notes - No 13


Photograph of The Grade II listed Booth tomb at St Mary's Church, North Mymms - August 2018 Image by the North Mymms History Project released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The Grade II listed Booth tomb at St Mary's Church, North Mymms - August 2018
Image by the North Mymms History Project
Released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

In August 2018 work was completed on the restoration of a Grade II listed tomb in the churchyard at St Mary's church, North Mymms..

The tomb, known locally as the Booth tomb, is the burial place of Mary Booth who died in 1807, and her husband Frederick Booth who died in 1831.

Local historian and photographer Mike Allen has been researching the history of the tomb in his North Mymms Notes series.

Folly Arch through the ages

Tracing the history of the North Mymms landmark


Folly Arch  c1920  Note the ivy growth on south elevation Image from the Peter Miller Collection
Folly Arch  c1920  Note the ivy growth on south elevation
Image from the Peter Miller Collection
Folly Arch has stood as a prominent North Mymms landmark since the first half of the 18th century. Local historian and archivist Peter Miller has been researching the history of the Grade II* listed structure and its eventful journey to the present day.

Marshmoor train derailment 1946

"Troublesome" section known to railworkers


Marshmoor train derailment 1946 -  Image from the Peter Miller Collection
Image from the Peter Miller Collection

At 10.35pm on Sunday 10 November 1946 a London-bound express train derailed about 200 yards south of the Dixons Hill Road bridge, Welham Green.


The train had left Newcastle at 4.45pm on its way to King's Cross. It was made up of 12 carriages hauled by a type V.2 class engine and was travelling at about 55 mph.

The entire train derailed, apart from the leading wheels of the engine.

North Mymms fatal train derailment Boxing Day 1870

Eight dead, including two local women


Great Northern Railways Stirling 4-2-2 1001, introduced in 1870 Image courtesy of Tony Hisgett from Birmingham released under CC BY 2.0
Great Northern Railways Stirling 4-2-2 1001, introduced in 1870
Image courtesy of Tony Hisgett from Birmingham released under CC BY 2.0

On a frosty Boxing Day evening in 1870 a wheel on a north-bound train travelling through North Mymms fractured sending carriages down the embankment at the Marshmoor railway crossing near Welham Green.

Eight people died on that cold evening, including two local women - sisters-in-law - who were walking close to the line. Three people were injured.

Mysterious death of a Victorian railway lad

The short life of a North Mymms teenager



Had it not been for the curiosity of a four year old boy, walking with his dad through the churchyard of St Mary's North Mymms, this story may have never been told.

But the inquisitive mind of the child, who wanted to know what was written on the headstones and the stories behind those buried in the graves, resulted in a father and son research project that uncovered a moving and tragic story of Victorian life and death.

This feature about the short life of railway worker Herbert George Town, from Marshmoor, was written by David Lister with this help of his son. It was first published in the April 2002 edition of the St Mary's church magazine.