|During the second half of the 19th century Watford grew by leaps and bounds, and development to the north along the St Albans Road was first referred to as Watford New Town, and then Callowland. The book Street and Place Names in Watford records that Callowland was purchased by the Earl of Essex in 1881 from the Master and Fellows of Merton College, Oxford, and was opened up for housing development in the 1890s. There appears to have been some opposition to the name and in 1916 the area was renamed North Watford. The railway station on the St Albans branch line was renamed in 1927.|
This page briefly looks at what happened to Callowland Farm, and ends with some early postcards of St Albans Road, North Watford
The large scale Ordnance map (See Old Maps) of 1883 shows Callowland Farm surrounded by fields, as it was in 1800, although there are building developments along St Albans Road not far to the south. The 1881 census shows that the farmer was Adam Johnston (36) with his wife Jemima (35) and children Jessie (7), Robert John (4) and Jane Ann (2). The farm had 160 acres and employed 5 men and 3 boys. He is listed in the 1890 Kelly's Directory as farmer at Callow land and Bushey Hall Farm.
In January 1895 the Watford Observer (Nunn, The Book of Watford, 1st Edition) reported "New Streets - The Board have during the past year approved plans for making and sewering 7 new streets:- Garfield-street, 173 yards long; Shakespear-street, 190 yards long; Parker-street, 158; Milton-street, 208; Cecil-street, 208; Judge-street, 193; Ridge-street, 188. Total 1318 yards. The whole of the above streets are in the Callow Land district, and some are now in the course of construction."
Development was obviously encroaching on the farm and Joseph Bird is not listed in the 1899 directory. Callowland school was erected in 1895 and the 1902 Kelly's Directory shows a "Dr Tibbles Vi Cocoa Limited, Callowland".
The above post card was produced in "The Clarendon Series," is numbered A 05090, and may have been published about 1903. The group, three carrying fishing rods and one a landing net, is clearly not the normal farmer group one might expect - and wonder if one of the group is Dr. Tibbles. One end of a flat roof can be seen, one end fixed below the date of 1794 on the old farm building, suggesting modification of the area for industrial use.
See also North Watford History Group Web Site for more information including the site's later history.
Luton News 26th August, 1897
Dr Tibble's Vi-Cocoa Factory burning down,
Feburary 7, 1903
1908 Kelly's Directory reports that "St George's temporary church, Callowland, is also a chapel of ease to St Andrews." There was a Baptist Chapel in Leavesden Road (Callowland) under the Rev. Thomas Miller Johnson. The two schools at Callowland had an average attendances of 460 boys, 239 girls and 240 infants. A firm called Bolsselier's Chocolates were chocolate manufacturers at Victoria Works, Callowland, and the Watford Manufacturing Co. Ltd. are listed as coca and chocolate manufacturers. There was also a firm called Freeman & Hildyard:
The Book of Watford, 2nd Edition, contains several paragraphs on the early history of the Callowland developments.
See also Callowland Schools
|St Albans Road,
Valentine card No 60951
The shops disappearing into the distance were occupied (1908 Kelly's Directory) by :
|47 & 49||Gilbert, Alice M (Mrs)||milliner|
|51||Bushey Laundry Limited|
|53||Hewitt, Ellen Amy (Mrs)||baker|
|55||Tucker, R & sons||cycle & motor engineers|
|57||Dench, J & A||dyers & cleaners|
|57a||Mendham, Francis Geo.||beer retailer|
|This was known as "The Jolly Gardener"|
|59 & 61||Chamberlain, Frank||stationer|
|65||Ainsworth, Ellen Alice (Mrs)||ladies outfitter|
|67||Harris, Thomas Edward||dairyman|
|69||Hotson, Trafalgar||boot maker|
|71||Mooney, Emma M (Mrs)||confectioner|
|75||Childs, Clement||hair dresser|
|77||Myddleton, Albert William||news agent|
|79||Drew, Robert||White Lion Public House|
|81||Walter, Frederick||boot maker|
|83||Lucas & Co||cycle makers|
|85||Curtis, Ebenezer Jn.||perambulator maker|
The shop on the corner has meat joints hanging in the window and carries the sign Family Butcher with the name Fisher. It must be that of Francis Fisher 101 St Albans Road, in the 1908 Kelly's Directory. Next comes Valentine & Leonard, clothiers, 101a St Albans Road, with their sign at roof level. The building with the creeper on the front is that of the doctor, Rudyard Henry Ashton LRCP London, MRCS Eng, LSA, surgeon, 103 St Albans Road. Beyond are the following shops.
|109||Garment & Sons||grocers|
|111||Ridgeway, Edwin||boot maker|
|113||Buck, Philip||confectioner & refreshment contractor|
|117||Kettle, Wm Burling||florist & seedman|
|119||Smith, W H & Son||stationers & booksellers|
|121||Ensom, David D||tobacconist|
|121b||Porter, Harry Percival||grocer|
|123||Owles, Archibald Charles||draper|
|129||Fleming, Ernest||hair dresser|
|St Albans Road,
No publisher details, card printed in Bavaria with back suggesting circa 1903
I have not yet identified the large creeper-covered house in the picture
The Isle of Wight Rifles marching out of town along St Albans Road on their way to fight at Gallopoli, July 1914
Picture by Harry R Cull, whose shop. 169 St Albans Road, can be seen on the other side of the road.
See also North Watford History Group Web Site
Page created August 2007
Updated with additional external links, October 2009
Picture of IOW Rifles added October 2011
Vi-Cocoa "advert" added November 2014