Books on Hertfordshire

Street and Place Names in Watford

by Alan W Ball

Watford Council, 1973

This is a useful reference book for anyone interested in the history of Watford. It contains some old maps, a few pictures pictures and a list of names and their origins, such as the following


Rookery Road led to the Rookery Silk Mill in the 19th century, but on the building of the Wiggenhall estate in the 1930's the name was changed to Riverside Road. Perhaps like the alteration of Pest House Lane to Willow Lane, this is another example of what Eric Partridge in his book Usage and Abusage called a 'genteelism', as a rookery was a common slang term for a slum. The name still survives undiminished however in the popular 'Rookery End' of the Watford Football Club's ground in Vicarage Road

The map, which is a portion of a 1849 map relating to the Sewerage, Drainage and Supply of Water to Watford,  shows the Union Workhouse (which is now part of Watford General Hospital, on Vicarage Road) with the Rookery Silk Mills due south on the River Colne

There is a web page for Watford

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Page updated April 2005