Answers to Questions


WALTERS, 106 High Street, Hemel Hempstead, 1882-c1900

July, 2012



Hemel Hempstead

Kevin Walters (kemew @t btinternet.com) writes from Romsey, Hampshire: My great uncle David Walters, who was a tenant farmer at Piccotts End Farm in the late nineteenth/ early twentieth century, (which for some reason he also called Waterside Farm), acquired a second tenancy at Westwick Row Farm, Leverstock Green in about 1904, following a decision by one of the Leno family to give up the tenancy.

David Walters, was in correspondence with the Gorhambury Estate at that time complaining about the reluctance of the Lenos to leave Westwick Row Farm. My great uncle wrote on notepaper indicating he was, among other things, and aside from his direct farming interests, also operating a corn merchant business from 106, High Street, Hemel Hempstead.

I have looked at your site 'Locating Census Addresses on Maps'; and in a rash moment two or three weeks ago, spent my Sunday in and around the High Street, (and following some interesting research on 'deceased online', around Heath Lane cemetery where I found most of my family from about that time).

I located number 108, High Street, and the entrance to the car park you mention, but of course number 106 appears to have long since gone, I suspect part of what I have read about slum clearance in the 1930s.

There may be no further information about 106 High Street and the business my great uncle ran, but I thought I would at least write to you to inquire whether you had anything in the resources available to you.

Number 106 was the most northerly house on the west side of Hemel High Street (see O.S. map from 1897), although it is possible that sometimes it was given number 104 in some of the censuses, which could happen if the houses were not clearly numbered. I did a quick scan through my trade directories records between 1878 and 1922, and some other sources, and the following is the result.


1878 -

1881 [census] David Walters, hay dealer, Back Cottage, Water End

         [census] George Reynolds, corn dealer, 104 High Street

1882 David Walters, corn & flour dealer, High Street

1886 Charles Walters, shopkeeper, Piccott's End

         David Walters, corn & flour dealer, 106 High Street

1890 Charles Walters, carter, Piccott's End

         David Walters, corn & flour dealer, 106 High Street

         Edward Charles Walters, Boar's Head Public House, & carpenter, Piccott's End

         Giles Puddifoot, farmer, Marchmont farm

1891 [census] David Walters, farmer, Marchmont Lane

         [census] 104 High Street [last listed] occupied by John Tilbury, farm labourer

1895 David Walters, farmer, Marchmont Farm

         James Phillips Manyard, Boar's Head Public House, Piccott's End

1899 David Walters, farmer, Marchmont & Piccott's End farm

1901 [census] 106 High Street occupied by John Tilbury, jobbing gardener

1902 David Walters, farmer, Marchmont & Piccott's End farm

         Septimus Walters, head gardener to Sir Astley Paston Cooper bart, Gadebridge

1908 David Walters, farmer, Piccotts End farm

         Edmond Percy Vincer, Marchmont Farm, Piccotts End

1911 [census] 106 High Street occupied by Alfred How, shepherd on farm, and family

1912 David Walters, farmer, Piccotts End farm

         David Walters, Junior, dairyman, Piccott's End

1914 David Walters, farmer, Piccott's End farm

         David Walters, Junior, dairyman, Piccott's End

1917 David Walters, farmer, Piccott's End farm

         David Walters, Junior, dairyman, Piccott's End

1920 [Voters list] 106 High Street occupied by Francis Groom and family

1922 -

1933 [Time's Highway] demolished in slum clearance

Title: High Street, Hemel Hempstead - Publisher: Hartmann 3979/4 - Date: circa 1903 (Indland messages only)  

The North end of  the High Street, Hemel Hempstead.

 The corn dealer's store (104 or 106) would have been the last building on the left, the road continuing north through Piccott's End.


It seems likely that David Walters was listed at 106 High Street until he moved to Marchmont farm (could this be what he called Waterside Farm), and he did not want to pay extra for a second listing, but he continued to use the shop for selling corn. He apparently expanded his farming activities to include Piccott's End Farm - and then moved out of Marchmont Farm House.

Kevin responded: Very many thanks. I had not seen the information listed in quite that way before. It is very helpful.

I regard myself as something of an “expert” now on farms in and around Piccotts End and Hemel Hempstead between about 1840 and 1920 ! Aside from David Walters, who did his share in occupying them, other members of the family, more particularly the Hooker family, also had faring interests in the area. In addition, David Walters’ youngest daughter married into the How family, with extensive farming interests around Leverstock Green. Quite a surprise for a twenty first century retired lawyer in Romsey !

Incidentally, The Boars Head, Piccotts End has recently closed as a Public House, but appears to be occupied. When I walked past, about three weeks ago, the bar and associated equipment looked as if it was still on site. As you note, my great uncle Edward Charles Walters was the licensee in 1891. By 1893, he had died from typhoid or a related illness. His death sent me off on an exploration of typhoid in and around Hemel Hempstead at the end of the nineteenth century, with the surprising result of its frequency, but I guess you know that well.

If you can add to the information given above tell me.

July 2012   Page created