A Short History of Bernards Heath

Sandridge New Town

 

St Albans

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Sandridge

Bernards Heath

Sandridge New Town circa 1900

In about 1880 Earl Spencer started selling off the part of Heath Farm to the east of Sandridge Road for building - mainly for workmen's cottages - with the area south of Sandpit Lane being sold for better class housing. No houses were built at the time of the 1881 census but the first houses were definitely occupied in 1882. When William and Jane Ferguson's daughter was baptised on 1st October 1882 his address was recorded as "Newtown" Sandridge.

For Sale by Messrs Harding & Eve

Two modern and well-built brick and slated freehold cottages with gardens, situate in the Culver-road, on the Bernard Estate, each containing four rooms, wash-house, coal-house and w.c., with good piece of garden ground. Water is laid on. There is a 3ft passage between the cottages to the gardens at the rear, a strong palisade fence in front, next the road, and the whole property has a frontage of 28ft. Let to Pepper and Mrs Green, at rents amounting to 23 8s 0d, landlord paying all rates. [Extract from 1884 advert]

Buildings went up in blocks and there was much discussion in the local paper about the roads being paved. The location of Boundary Road is of particular interest as it lies just to the north of the city boundary - as it was at the time. The result is that while the gardens lay within the City the actual houses were all outside the City - and hence free of the City rates. This arrangement later caused some concern as they were also not on mains drainage. Sewerage being disposed of down "dumb wells" into the chalk and there was a worry that the city's water, which was extracted from the deep well at Stonecross, might become contaminated.

As the population increased the number of children increased, and as early as 1883 there was a problem in ensuring school attendance. The school was built in 1888 and a year later, was advertising for a mistress to teach about 60 infants.

It is worth recording that "Heath Road" was originally "St John's Road".

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