A History of Preston

in Hertfordshire


1 Sootfield Green; 2 Castle Farm; 3 Pond Farm; 4  Rose Cottage; 5 The Wilderness; 6 Sadleirs End;

7 Chequers Inn; 8 Spindle Cottage; 9 Home Farm; 10 Bunyans Cottage; 11 “The Cottage”/Dower House;

12 Temple Dinsley; 13 Temple Farm; 14 Bunyan’s Chapel; 15 St Martin’s Place; 16 St Martins Church;

17 The Old Forge; 18 Fig Tree Cottage; 19 Laburnum Lodge and Kenwood Cottage; 20 The Red Lion;

21 Kiln Wood Cottage; 22 Minsden Farm (aka Ladygrove); 23 Hitchwood Cottages; 24 Preston Hill (Reeves) Cottage; 25 Preston Hill Farm

For the purpose of analysis, it is not straightforward to define Preston. In the 19th century Preston was not a parish. Parts of the village were included in the parishes of Hitchin, Ippollitts and Kings Walden. (See Preston - Administration page)


Many typical parishes were centred on their church. This was usually surrounded by a cluster of homes inhabited by tradesmen and labourers. Further out from this hub were the farms and the scattered cottages of farm workers.


I have adopted this model to define Preston. Included, therefore, are the people living within the central ‘figure of eight’  formed by Church, Chequers, Butchers, School and Back Lanes and Crunnells Green. Then there are the cottages on the outskirts of the village: Kiln Cottage, Hitchwood, Poynders End, Hill End, Sootfield Green and Wain Wood. These are the families that I have included in Preston for the censuses.

Some might argue that Hill End should be grouped with Langley and not Preston. However, there is an equal distance between Hill End and Preston or Langley. In some parish records, Hill End is described as ‘Preston’. For example, when Annie Rose Shambrook, the daughter of farmer James and his wife Rose, was baptised on 26 June 1863, their place of residence was described as Hill End, Preston. Also, children from Hill End attended Preston School. In the 1890’s the Preston School register shows Emily  and Charles Thrussell, Ernest Busby and Mary Wright as residing at Hill End.

Sources: Hitchin parish records; Preston School logbook - by kind permission of Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies (Ref -  DP53/25/33)


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Preston’ Defined