Welcome to the North Mymms History Project

A growing historical resource of more than 150 books, features, and documents. Feel free to use the comment box beneath any item to add relevant information. Suggestions and content ideas welcome. You can sign up for email notifications at the top left of any page.

North Mymms then and now in pictures

Exploring our archive to see how the parish has changed


Man walking along Hawkshead Road towards Little Heath  Mix of photographs by R Kingdon (1967) and the North Mymms History Project (2018)  Montage by North Mymms History Project, released under Creative Commons
Man walking along Hawkshead Road towards Little Heath 1967/2018
Mix of photographs by R Kingdon (1967) and the North Mymms History Project (2018)
Montage by North Mymms History Project, released under Creative Commons

The North Mymms History Project has been comparing some of the old photographs in our archive with modern-day shots of the same scenes to show how the parish has changed.

With more than 4,000 images to choose from, we can offer just a small sample in this feature, but we have added links at the end of the piece to other photographic features on the site for those who want to carry out their own research.

Timber production in North Mymms

The importance of wood to the local economy


Harold Spencer and Bob Rogers at Woodside Place in the 1900 Image from P. Grant / G. Knott
Harold Spencer and Bob Rogers at Woodside Place in the 1900s
Image from P. Grant / G. Knott, part of the Images of North Mymms Collection

North Mymms once had a thriving timber industry. Wood was grown and farmed as a felling crop on all the large estates in the parish. In one year alone, an "exceptionally wealthy" local landowner planted 40,000 oaks in a 27-acre field in Gobions.

Local wood production was such, that large auctions were held in the parish to sell the timber, with buyers notified via the press throughout Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Cambridgeshire, and Middlesex.

By the second half of the 19th century, an eighth of the land in North Mymms was being used to produce wood. Of the 4,966 acres that made up the parish, 633 (12.7%) were given over to timber.

The local ancient woodland was also coppiced, particularly chestnut and hazel, in order to produce a sustainable supply, which was then widely used by rural craftspeople.

Nationally, timber was essential to almost every aspect of living, and was of particular importance in the defence of Britain. In the 18th century, the Royal Navy used vast amounts of oak to build its warships. And the demand for oak continued into the 19th century, including its use in the production of ironclads.

The North Mymms History Project has been looking at the importance of timber to the local economy. Our research found that wood was identified as a resource worth recording in the Domesday Book entry for the parish.

Mighty Men of Mymms online memorial


Mike Allen, one of the North Mymms History Project's team of four, has spent more than six years researching the stories of the 59 men from the parish of North Mymms who died while serving, or as a result of serving, in WWI.

Mike started the project in 2012. In October 2018 the material was made available online for the first time, scheduled to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War of 1918-1918.

Vicars of St Mary's North Mymms since 1237

Serving an average of almost 14 years each


Brass of William de Kestevene, priest at St Mary's from 1344 until his death in 1361  Image by the North Mymms History Project, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Brass of William de Kestevene, priest at St Mary's from 1344 until his death in 1361
Image by the North Mymms History Project, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

In the 780 years since the first priest conducted a service at St Mary's, North Mymms, there have been 57 men and, more recently women, serving in the role. The average time in the post is almost 14 years.

Mike Allen, one of those behind the North Mymms History Project has researched the history of the priests, or vicars as they were later known, of St Mary's church, North Mymms.

North Mymms WWI and WWII war graves

Photographs, maps and details of the nine graves


Photograh of The nine war graves in St Mary's churchyard, North Mymms  Image by the North Mymms History Project, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0The nine war graves in St Mary's churchyard, North Mymms  Image by the North Mymms History Project, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The nine war graves at St Mary's, North Mymms
Image by the North Mymms History Project, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

During the two World Wars, serving members of the armed forces who were killed abroad were buried in Commonwealth War Cemeteries near to where they fell.

Those who died in the UK were, in many cases, buried in their local cemeteries. Those who had left the service but died subsequently from wounds received may be buried in their local churchyard but not in War Graves.

The North Mymms History Project's Mike Allen has been researching the war graves of St Mary's, North Mymms.

The history of Little Heath Wood House

Cover of A personal record of Gresley Court from 1972 and the history of Little Heath Wood House' by Joan E. Gooding


A book written and produced by a long-term resident of Gresley Court, Little Heath has just been published. The book is entitled 'A personal record of Gresley Court from 1972 and the history of Little Heath Wood House'. The author is 90-year-old Joan E. Gooding.

The first half of the book deals with the history of the management company of Gresley Court. The second half looks at the history of Little Heath Wood House, which previously occupied the site, and which was the earliest large house built in Little Heath forming a small estate with its own farm.