The Woodman, Water End

North Mymms Notes number 20


The Woodman Inn, Warrengate Road, Water End - July 2018
Image by the North Mymms History Project released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

Introduction


Built in the late 17th or early 18th century, The Woodman Inn at Water End is a Grade II listed building with an interesting history. Local resident, historian, and photographer, Mike Allen, has traced the pub's past in this latest issue (number 20) of his North Mymms Notes, reproduced on this site with his permission.

Mason marks of St Mary's Church, North Mymms

North Mymms Notes number 17


St Mary's Church, North Mymms, which has mason marks on some of the tower steps - July 2018 Image by the North Mymms History Project, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
St Mary's Church, North Mymms, which has mason marks on some of the tower steps - July 2018
Image by the North Mymms History Project, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

Introduction


In this articles in Mike Allen's series of North Mymms Notes he looks at the history of the mason marks that have been etched in the stairs leading to the tower at St Mary's Church, North Mymms. Mike has researched why they were made, what they stand for, and why so little is known about the men who helped build the parish church.

The wells, windpumps, and water towers of North Mymms

Producing water "sufficient in quantity, good in quality"


Photograph of The windpump and well at the side of Love Lane, North Mymms Park - August 2018 Image by the North Mymms History Project released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The windpump and well on the west side of Love Lane, North Mymms Park - August 2018
Image by the North Mymms History Project released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

In 1911, fewer than a quarter of the 404 homes in North Mymms had a constant mains water supply piped to the premises. The rest had to rely on an estimated 53 active wells dotted around the parish. A health inspector's report at the time noted that the water extracted from the wells was "sufficient in quantity and good in quality". Four of those wells were still supplying water for 20 homes more than half a century later, but, by then, the quality was described as only "satisfactory".

Historical North Mymms tomb engulfed in ivy


Note: This article was published on North Mymms News on August 13, 2018. It is reproduced here as part of the North Mymms History Project's news archive.


Grade II listed monument no longer visible


Photograph of The overgrown Grade II listed 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 overgrown Grade II listed 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

A tomb in the churchyard at St Mary's, North Mymms, which was listed as a Grade II historical monument in 1983, is now completely covered in ivy. It's not known whether any damage has been caused, but church representatives are to meet to consider how best to tackle the problem. Earlier this month the restoration of another listed tomb in the churchyard was completed. That repair cost several thousand pounds and took two years. That, too, had been covered in ivy in the 1900s.

The 45 listed historical sites of North Mymms

Mystery still surrounds the one that's missing


Moffats Farm Farmhouse a Grade II listed building Image by the North Mymms History Project released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Moffats Farm Farmhouse is a Grade II listed building
Image by the North Mymms History Project released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

Many will pass some of the 45 listed sites in North Mymms every day without realising that these protected properties and landmarks are now a preserved part of the nation's history.  Some travelling by train or road probably pass two hidden in the undergrowth and bushes. The North Mymms History Project has used data, compiled by Historic England, to create an interactive map (embedded later in this piece) of all the listed sites in the parish.

South Hertfordshire's coal posts

Photograph of The listed coal post on Heath Road, Little Heath Image by the North Mymms History Project released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The listed coal post on Heath Road, Little Heath (Grid Ref: TL257023)
Image by the North Mymms History Project released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

You might have passed them in the car, by train, or on foot, and you probably won't have given them a second glance. But if you had travelled the same way 150 years earlier, you might have found queues of people, many with carts loaded with coal, wine, clothing and food, haggling with the taxman. They are the coal tax posts, many of which were erected following the Coal Duties Act of 1851, and, thanks to them, funds were raised to construct many of the bridges across the Thames.

Fairview, saved from development, preserved for its history

One of Welham Green's 10 Grade II listed buildings


Photograph of Fairview taken in August 2018 Image by North Mymms History Project, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Fairview, a Grade II listed building photographed in August 2018
Image by North Mymms History Project, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

In 1974 the owner of Fairview, a 140-year-old house on Welham Green's Station Road, wanted to demolish it and build two semis and two detached houses with garages. But North Mymms Parish Council took out a preservation order, the Department of the Environment agreed, and Fairview was saved. Now it is one of 10 Grade II listed buildings in the village protected from development.

The paintings that survived the destruction of Brookmans

Artwork, rescued from the flames now on display in Australia


Drawing of Brookmans House by Buckler, 1840 Image courtesy of Hertfordshire County Records Office (HCRO)
Drawing of Brookmans House by Buckler, 1840
Image courtesy of Hertfordshire County Records Office (HCRO)

On July 11, 1891, fire swept through and eventually destroyed Brookmans, a large country manor house standing in grounds that now make up the golf course and much of the surrounding area. Staff tried to rescue as much as possible from the mansion that gave its name to Brookmans Park, some valuables were saved, but much was lost.

Now, thanks to research by this site's resident historian and archivist, Peter Miller, some of those paintings, which were presumed to have been destroyed, have been traced - to Australia.

This is the story of a collection of paintings that survived the destruction of Brookmans, was put in storage for 60 years, and which is still being enjoyed, more than 120 years later, on the other side of the world.

Beating the bounds in North Mymms parish

Marking the parish boundary


Photograph of Beating The Bounds in August 1950 - Pauline Speary, June Chuck, Dorothy Speary. Image from D Denchfield digitally enhanced by Mike Allen
Beating the bounds in August 1950 - Pauline Speary, June Chuck, Dorothy Speary.
Image from D Denchfield, part of the Images of North Mymms collection


A centuries-old tradition


The ancient tradition of "beating the bounds", has been taking place in North Mymms for centuries. It involves a 17.5 mile walk along the parish boundary to visit, and ceremonially claim on behalf of the parish, various landmarks.


The natural history around Water End

Photograph of the path through the swallow holes at Water End, Hertfordshire


The following text was written for a geological walk around North Mymms in October 2004. It's been included in the North Mymms History Project because of its natural historical value. This site thanks Mike Howgate M.Sc, who is the recorder for geology for Hertfordshire, for giving us permission to reproduce his work.