1. hemelhempstead:

    Apsley Marina

    Built in 2003, the Marina in the Apsley district of Hemel Hempstead is a compact mooring which is part of a smart regeneration project, providing boaters, either with the perfect stopping off place on your journey, or as a more permanent mooring.Due to it’s location on the previously mentioned Grand Union Canal, Apsley was an important Victorian Mill Town.

    Located on the confluence of two rivers (the Gade and the Bulbourne), the area was an obvious location for a Mill. John Dickinson, the inventor of a new method of continuous paper-making, purchased an existing mill in the area in 1809. Due in part to his revolutionary method of manufacturing, the John Dickinson Stationary Company became, and remains to this day, one of the largest station manufactures in the world.


  2. hemelhempstead:

    Box Moor Trust.

    Founded in 1594, The Box Moor Trust manages some 480 acres of agricultural and amenity land for the benefit of the inhabitants of Hemel Hempstead and Bovingdon.  A registered charity, the Trust’s mission is to manage the estate in an environmentally sensitive manner for recreation, biodiversity, the provision of diverse opportunities for lifelong learning and to ensure that the enjoyment of such initiatives is accessible to all.

    As well as being an area of natural beauty, the Trusts lands also includes some Fauna and Flora not local to the area having made ties with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. These include the Belted Galloway cattle, and the ‘At Risk’ Norfolk Horn breed of sheep, Red Kites, Buzzards and the Wild Juniper shrub.


  3. hemelhempstead:

    Grand Union Canal

    The Grand Union Canal is an English Canal system that starts in London and ends in Birmingham, stretching for 137 miles (220 km) with 166 locks.The above shot was taken in Hemel Hempstead, between Boxmoor and Winkwell.  Prior to the invention of the automobile and the steam locomotive, the majority of England’s freight was carried on the canals, often pulled by horse, between London and England’s ‘Second City’, Birmingham.These days however, they are mainly used for Recreation.


  4. hemelhempstead:

    Heath Lane Cemetery

    Heath Lane Cemetery is located in the Boxmoor district of Hemel Hempstead and was the first municipal cemetery in the Dacorum area. First opened in 1878 it is a quintessential Victorian funeral, which boasts not one, but two chapels. One chapel was used for the funerals of Church of England followers, whilst the other was used for individuals of other denominations and religions.  The cemetery is also home to a large number of redwood trees, which are some of the largest trees in the Dacorum area. 


  5. hemelhempstead:

    Bourne End

    Bourne End is small village located on the outskirts of Hemel Hempstead. the village takes its name as it lies on the Bourne Gutter, which is an irregularly flowing stream that flows into the River Bulbourne which subsequently flows into the River Gade. Local legend has it that the Bourne Gutter is a “Woe Water”, which only flows at times of tragedy, making the stream an ominous sign. Historically the stream has been seen flowing during the Great Plague of 1665, the Outbreak of World War I (1914) and more recently during the Suez Crisis (1956) and the start of the Falklands War (1982).

    Historically the village was always referred to as a Hamlet, and not a village, owing to the fact that it didn’t have a Parish Church within it’s grounds. This, however, changed during the early 1850’s with the building of St John’s Church which was completed in 1855. The village is also, unfortunately, infamous for being the site of Bourne End rail crash, which claimed the lives of 43 people on 30 September 1945.


  6. hemelhempstead:

    Hemel Hospital

    A Hospital in Hemel Hempstead has been present since 1832 when Sir Astley Cooper founded the West Herts Infirmary in Piccotts End, as mentioned in the previous post. The current hospital however, was built a few decades later, in 1877, in order to cope with the ever increasing population, meanwhile in 1899 it became one of the first Hospitals in the UK to acquire X-Ray Facilities, a technology that had only been developed 4 years prior.

    These days many of the original Victorian buildings remain - as testament to there ability to withstand the trials and tribulations of a Hospital. Following a fire in 1988, many of the older builders however were renovated, to include a Post Grad Center, Doctors Residence and a larger A&E department. The Hospital currently serves the population of Hemel Hempstead with the Urgent Care Center and a GP Lead health center, as well as accommodating both in and out-patients.


  7. hemelhempstead:

    Piccotts End

    Piccotts End is a small village located just outside of Hemel Hempstead, due to it’s close proximity to the town, it is often assumed that the village is part of the town, however, it remains a village in it’s own right. The village is a quintessential small country village, complete with stables, and a very popular public house, not to mention some beautiful Tudor style architecture.

    Piccotts End has a strong and interesting history too, having been the site of the UK’s first Cottage Hospital. Founded in 1832 the “West Herts Infirmary” was a free hospital set up by renowned Georgian era physician Sir Astley Cooper. After the hospital was relocated to keep up with demand, the building was bought by Josiah Wright„ who became famous for foiling an assassination attempt on the life of Queen Victoria. The cottages, as they are now, were later found to hold one more piece of history; a series Medieval wall murals depicting a variety of Patron Saints, as well the Virgin Mary & Jesus Christ.


  8. hemelhempstead:

    The Old Town

    After the Second World War, Hemel Hempstead became the town it is today; a bustling ‘New Town’ with a population in excess of 80,000. However, their prior to this, there was a sizable village which had evolved through time. A village which was built on the back on impressive grain output (Hemel had the largest Grain market in the UK at the time), paper production and Chalk Mining.

    Of this village remains what is colloquially known as ‘The Old Town’, featuring architecture from the Victorian, Georgian and even Tudor eras. The town itself overlooks St Mary’s Church which was built in 1140.These days the Old Town features a range of independent shops and boutiques, as well as several restaurants and period pubs


  9. hemelhempstead:

    Charter Tower

    The Charter Tower was originally the gatehouse to a sizable residence known as The Bury, of which their have been multiple iterations. The of which was first referenced to in 1289. Up until 1539, The Bury was the residence of the Waterhouse Family, for whom the nearby Waterhouse Street is named. The Bury was then rebuilt between1540 and 1595 by the Combes family. The arms of Richard Combes can still be seen carved on the upper story of the Charter Tower. This Iteration remained until 1790.

    The name “Charter Tower ” derives from a local myth that Henry VIII may have stayed there in 1539 and handed down Hemel Hempstead’s Royal Market Charter from the upper window as a mark of gratitude for hospitality he received. However if this event did indeed happen,it would have been a previous structure as the existing tower wasn’t built until approximately 1595. By the end of the 18th century the second Bury was demolished and was replaced by the Third (and current) iteration - a building that now serves as a popular Wedding venue, as well as being the constituency office of Hemel’s MP, Mr Mike Penning.


  10. hemelhempstead:

    The Kodak Building

    The Kodak Building, or as it is now known, the KD Tower, is arguably Hemel Hempstead’s most famous landmark, along with the Magic Roundabout which it overlooks. The building is so named due to the fact that it was formerly the UK headquarters of the Eastman Kodak company, having being built in the early 1970’s and serving the company for over 30 years.

    Originally a brutalist tower block designed by renowned architect Sir Thomas Bennett, the Building was vacated in 2005, before being built by Property developers Dandara and converted into 434 apartments. The renovations were finished in 2010, and the tower block is served by a Piazza containing a multitude of local businesses and boutique stores.