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Who Was Dixon of Dixon’s Hill?

Original route of Dixon's Hill
Original route of Dixon's Hill
Ordnance Survey 25 inch to the mile map, revised 1896 and published 1898
Image courtesy of the National Library of Scotland 
Before the existing road layout and the construction of the A1(M), Dixons Hill Road used to continue along what is now Dixons Hill Close, and was formerly known just as Dixon’s Hill. When the A1(M) was constructed in the 1970s, a new flyover was built, and Dixons Hill Road was diverted to its current route, resulting in part of the old road becoming a cul-de-sac, and being renamed Dixons Hill Close.

Changes to Dixons Hill Road due to the construction of the A1(M) in the 1970s
Changes to Dixons Hill Road due to the construction of the A1(M) in the 1970s
Image also shows Wakeleys Nursery
Photograph R Papworth from the Images of North Mymms collection

Building the A!(M) flyover at Tollgate Road, October 1978
Building the A1(M) flyover at Tollgate Road, October 1978
Photograph R Kingdon from the Images of North Mymms collection
Most of the origins of the local road names are known, but why Dixon’s Hill is so named has always eluded local historians. Clearly, it was named after somebody called Dixon, but who were they and when did they live there?

Whilst reading the meticulous handwritten notes of local historian, the late Bill Killick, I came across a transcription of the LEEDS PAPERS. Vol. LXVII (ff. vi+114) held at the British Library (Egerton MS 3390).

The Dukes of Leeds were Lords of the Manor of North Mymms between 1685 and 1799. Egerton MS 3390 is the accompt book of William Vernon who was steward to the first and second Duke of Leeds, and which contains a survey by Abraham Walter conducted on March 26, 1691 of the ‘demains’ in North Mymms.

The survey includes ‘ye names, contents and quality of ye lands therein specified and in whose tenure ye same are’.

One of the entries contained in the survey is for a cottage built on the waste by Bushwood Field, and occupied by William Dixon (Manorial waste was land that was not let to tenants, and also not part of the demesne lands, which were lands retained and managed by the Lord of the Manor).

This almost certainly would be referring to the waste alongside what we now call Dixons Hill Road or Close, and I believe it is the reason why Dixon’s Hill was so named.

It is possible that the cottage referred to is the one that is still extant at No 47 Dixons Hill Close, and which listing states that the core of the building is 17C.

Mr & Mrs Pollard outside 47 Dixons Hill Road
Mr Pollard was killed tree felling in North Mymms Park 1900s
Photograph E Stamp from the Images of North Mymms collection

Peter Miller
July 2022

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  1. Living in welham green from birth (1967) until 1985, I certainly remember the old road. We would walk from north mimms junior school to the church walking past the old cafe, across the road (that isn't there anymore)

  2. My friend Martyn Day at QEBGS lived in Welham Green and I think had an uncle who wrote Dixon of Dock Green
    A coincidence?


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