Until 1906, The Hertford Road ran along a terrace on the side of a steep hill called The Mountain. In that year, George Dering, the owner of Lockleys, re-routed it away from his house. To do that, workers had to dig a deep cutting south, through the Mountain. Eventually, all that remained of the Mountain was quarried away for gravel, and the Civic Centre, the telephone exchange and the fire station were constructed in the resulting hole.
Old Hertford Road
This drive was the Hertford Road from 1720 (when it was moved from the north end of the village) until 1906. There was a steep hill on the south side and nothing but fields along the road until the other side of the Digswell viaduct. In this clip, Tony discusses the history of the road.
Iron Age Burials
This imported Roman wine jar, or amphora, and native British wrought iron stand, were found with Roman silver cups and native pottery in an Iron Age burial uncovered during the cutting of the Mountain in 1906. Here, Tony discusses the discovery of the burials. The finds are in the British Museum, along with similar materials found in Welwyn Garden City.
These houses were built into the side of the Mountain, just above the valley of the River Mimram. The front facing Prospect Place is two storeys, but they are three storeys high at the back! Notice where the sign “WELWYN” was painted out in 1940 to confuse invading Germans.