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HITCHIN is a market town in the North Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
District in Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
, England
England
, with an estimated population of 33,350.

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Government * 3 Transport * 4 Education * 5 Culture and community * 6 Sport in Hitchin
Hitchin
* 7 Districts of Hitchin
Hitchin
* 8 Nearby settlements * 9 Notable people who have lived in Hitchin
Hitchin
* 10 Filmography * 11 Miscellaneous * 12 References * 13 External links

HISTORY

Hitchin
Hitchin
is first noted as the central place of the Hicce people, a tribe holding 300 hides of land as mentioned in a 7th-century document, the Tribal Hidage . Hicce, or Hicca may mean the people of the horse. The tribal name is Old English
Old English
and derives from the Middle Anglian people. It has been suggested that Hitchin
Hitchin
was the location of 'Clofeshoh ', the place chosen in 673 by Theodore of Tarsus the Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
during the Synod of Hertford , the first meeting of representatives of the fledgling Christian
Christian
churches of Anglo-Saxon England
England
, to hold annual synods of the churches as Theodore attempted to consolidate and centralise Christianity in England. By 1086 Hitchin
Hitchin
is described as a Royal Manor in Domesday Book : the feudal services of Avera and Inward , usually found in the eastern counties, especially Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
, were due from the sokemen , but the manor of Hitchin
Hitchin
was unique in levying Inward. Evidence has been found to suggest that the town was once provided with an earthen bank and ditch fortification, probably in the early tenth century but this did not last. The modern spelling 'Hitchin' first appears in 1618 in the " Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
Feet of Fines". Panel representing the foundational history of Hitchin mentioning: King Offa, the River Hiz and the Hicce tribe. Now on the front of Hitchin
Hitchin
Library, it was on the Sainsburys on Brand Street until the supermarket relocated to the Bancroft area.

The name of the town also is associated with the small river that runs through the town, most picturesquely in front of the east end of St. Mary\'s Church , the town's parish church. The river is noted on maps as the River Hiz . Contrary to how most people now pronounce the name, that is to say as spelt, the 'z' is an abbreviated character for a 'tch' sound in the Domesday Book, (as in the name of the town). It would have been pronounced 'River Hitch'. The Hicca Way is an eight mile walking route along the River Hiz Valley, believed to have been used for trade between the Danes and English in the Anglo-Saxon age. It is also likely that Hitch Wood, which lies some half a dozen miles south of the town also derives its name from the Hicce tribe, who gave their name to Hitchin.

Hitchin
Hitchin
is notable for St. Mary\'s Church , which is remarkably large for a town of its size. The size of the church is evidence of how Hitchin
Hitchin
prospered from the wool trade. It is the largest parish church in Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
. Most of the church dates from the 15th century, with its tower dating from around 1190. During the laying of a new floor in the church in 1911, foundations of a more ancient church building were found. In form, they appear to be a basilican church of a 7th-century type, with a later enlarged chancel and transepts , perhaps added in the 10th century. This makes the church older than the story (not recorded before the 15th century) that the church was founded by Offa
Offa
, king of Mercia
Mercia
757-796.

In 1697, Hitchin
Hitchin
(and the nearby village of Offley ) were subject to what is thought to have been the most severe hailstorm in recorded British history. Hailstones over 4 inches in diameter were reported

The town flourished on the wool trade, and located near the Icknield Way and by the 17th century Hitchin
Hitchin
was a staging post for coaches coming from London
London
. By the middle of the 19th century the railway had arrived, and with it a new way of life for Hitchin. The corn exchange was built in the market place and within a short time Hitchin established itself as a major centre for grain trading.

The latter half of the 20th century has also brought great changes in communication to Hitchin. Motorways have shortened the journey time and brought Luton
Luton
, a few miles away on the M1 , and the A1 (M) even closer. By the close of the 20th century, Hitchin
Hitchin
had become a satellite dormitory town for London. Hitchin
Hitchin
also developed a fairly strong Sikh
Sikh
community based around the Walsworth area.

During the medieval period, both a priory (Newbigging, now known as The Biggin) and a friary (now known as Hitchin
Hitchin
Priory) were established, both of which closed during Henry VIII 's Dissolution of the Monasteries . They were never reformed, although The Biggin was for many years used as almshouses .

The British Schools Museum
British Schools Museum
in Hitchin
Hitchin
is home to the world's only known complete Lancasterian Schoolroom , which was built in 1837 to teach boys by the Lancasterian method (peer tutoring ).

Girton College—a pioneer in women's education—was established on 16 October 1869 under the name of College for Women at Benslow House in Hitchin, which was considered to be a convenient distance from Cambridge and London. It was thought to be less 'risky' and less controversial to locate the college away from Cambridge in the beginning. The college moved to Cambridge a few years later and adopted its present name, Girton College.

GOVERNMENT

Hitchin
Hitchin
is in the local government district of North Hertfordshire which was formed in 1974 by the amalgamation of rural and urban councils. There is now no town council in Hitchin. Residents elect 13 members to the North Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
District Council . There are five electoral wards in Hitchin: Bearton , Highbury , Oughton , Priory and Walsworth .

It is within the Hitchin
Hitchin
and Harpenden constituency for representation in the Parliament of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
. In the 2010 general election , Peter Lilley
Peter Lilley
of the Conservative Party was elected. Between 1983 and 1997 Hitchin
Hitchin
was included in the North Hertfordshire constituency . Before that it was in the Hitchin
Hitchin
constituency .

Hitchin
Hitchin
is within the East of England constituency of the European Parliament which currently elects 7 MEPs . Prior to 1999 and the adoption of proportional representation , Hitchin
Hitchin
was in the Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
constituency .

TRANSPORT

Hitchin railway station
Hitchin railway station
is on the Great Northern Line , to which the Cambridge Line connects just north of the station. There are direct connections to London, Stevenage
Stevenage
, Peterborough
Peterborough
, and Cambridge. Journeys to London
London
and Cambridge both last approximately 30 minutes on the Express services. Stevenage
Stevenage
is 5 minutes away and Peterborough
Peterborough
is typically 45 minutes distance in journey-time.

The A505 , A600 and A602 roads intersect in Hitchin, which is about three miles (5 km) from the A1(M) motorway and about ten miles (16 km) from the M1 motorway
M1 motorway
.

Hitchin
Hitchin
is about 9 miles from Luton
Luton
Airport with a direct bus service linking the two.

EDUCATION

See also: List of schools in Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
and Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
§ Education

There are several primary schools in Hitchin. Secondary education is provided at Hitchin
Hitchin
Girls\' School , Hitchin
Hitchin
Boys\' School and the Priory School . There is a campus of the North Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
College in Hitchin, and it is also the home of the Benslow Music Trust which provides music education for adults.

Hitchin Museum and Art Gallery (about to open Summer 2017) has an extensive collection that tells the story of the town's social history and of the rural industries that contributed to its prosperity. The British Schools Museum
British Schools Museum
is housed in original Edwardian and Victorian school buildings.

CULTURE AND COMMUNITY

Lavender fields near Hitchin
Hitchin

In March 2013 a poll in The Times
The Times
voted Hitchin
Hitchin
the 9th best town in the UK in which to live. Hitchin
Hitchin
hosts an annual Arts Hitchin
Hitchin
Light Orchestra, Hitchin
Hitchin
Symphony Orchestra and Hitchin
Hitchin
Chamber Orchestra give regular concerts often in St Mary's Church and Hitchin
Hitchin
Band perform around the country in brass band championship competition as well as the home town. There are two excellent small theatres - The Market Theatre with a year round programme in their main hall and one-off performances in the Cabaret Bar and The Queen Mother Theatre, home of the town's Bancroft Players, Big Spirit Youth Theatre and occasional visiting companies as well as Hitchin
Hitchin
Films in the Richard Whitmore Studio. For event details go to www.hitchinherts.com

Hitchin
Hitchin
Market remains one of the largest in the area with general markets on Tuesday and Saturday, bric-a-brac and collectables on Fridays and a Sunday Car Boot; there are also monthly specialist markets - Local Produce & Crafts on the last Saturday of each month, Lifestyle on the second Saturday and occasional Art Markets. Hitchin Markets is also the venue for the annual Duck Race during Hitchin Festival.

The town centre boasts a wealth of independent retailers in both food "> Top Field
Top Field
, the home ground of Hitchin Town F.C.

Hitchin Rugby Club is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to participate in and promote the sport of rugby union at all age levels within the Hitchin
Hitchin
area. This includes Mini/ Midi (U7-U12), Youth (U13-U17), Colts (U19), Seniors (19+), Vets (35+) and Ladies. Hitchin RFC has a 50+ year relationship with the town of Hitchin, having been founded in 1954. See the history section for more. Highlights have included playing at Twickenham
Twickenham
in the final of the national Junior RFU Cup in 1993 and the establishment of the country's first Academy. Currently their membership stands at over 500 people, including active and associate members. They have a community development programme and a Mini -webkit-column-count: 2; column-count: 2;">

* Dorothy Atkinson , actress * Guillem Balagué , Spanish football journalist * James Bay , musician * Tom Bentley , philanthropist * Henry Bessemer
Henry Bessemer
, engineer * Jennie Bond
Jennie Bond
, journalist * Sally Bretton , actress * Harold Briercliffe , cyclist and author * Drewe Broughton , footballer * Edward Chapman , publisher * George Chapman , poet * Oliver Cheshire , fashion model * Chris Cleaver , footballer * Mary Angela Dickens , novelist and granddaughter of Charles Dickens * Monica Dickens , novelist and great granddaughter of Charles Dickens * Karl Duguid , footballer * Willie Duncan , musician * Gail Emms , badminton player * Ross Flitney , footballer * Mathew Gates , figure skater * Martin Gordon
Martin Gordon
, musician * F.L. Griggs , etcher * Henry Hawkins, 1st Baron Brampton , judge * Reginald Hine , solicitor and historian * Paul Jesson , actor * Roy Kettle , author * Thea King , clarinettist * Dave Kitson , footballer * Kane Kramer , inventor of the digital audio player * Frank Launder , film director * Joseph Lister , pioneer of antiseptic surgery * John Lloyd , co-founder of the international design consultancy Lloyd Northover. * Gavin McInnes , writer * Sally Mules , journalist and presenter * Elaine Murray , Scottish politician * Robert Newman , comedian * David Noble , footballer * Arvind Parmar , tennis player * Ian Perkins , Musician * Kevin Phillips , footballer * Kevin Pilkington , footballer * Ian Poulter , golfer * Pam Rhodes , BBC
BBC
TV presenter * Michael Robbins , actor * Robert Tor Russell , architect of New Delhi
New Delhi
* Martin Savage , actor * Steve Sheppard , B.B.C. Cricket and football commentator and owner of One World Music * Valerie Singleton
Valerie Singleton
, TV presenter * Richard Walker , angler * Diana Wallis
Diana Wallis
, politician (MEP) * Kristiina Wheeler , an English-Finnish singer * Richard Whitmore , former newsreader * Sir Frank Whittle , inventor of the jet engine * Jack Wilshere , footballer * Henry Wood , conductor * Second Lieutenant Frank Young VC , recipient of the Victoria Cross . * Gary Younge , journalist * The Bleach Boys , Punk Band dating from 1976

FILMOGRAPHY

Part of the 2010 BBC
BBC
TV series Just William was filmed at the British Schools Museum.

Scenes from the BBC
BBC
drama series Doctor Foster were filmed in Hitchin

MISCELLANEOUS

In 1960 Hitchin
Hitchin
Urban District Council was the first in Britain to introduce 'black bags' for refuse collection.

Elizabeth the Queen Mother 's birth in 1900 was registered at Hitchin, which is a few miles from her parent's English country house, St Paul's Walden Bury, where she spent much of her childhood.

Actor and comedian Bob Hope
Bob Hope
"claimed to have inherited his sense of humour from his paternal grandfather from Hitchin".

The 1951 book My Turn to Make the Tea by Monica Dickens is set in Hitchin
Hitchin
(renamed Downingham in the book).

REFERENCES

* ^ A B Neighbourhood Statistics 2011 census combined population of Hitchin
Hitchin
wards, Accessed 27 March 2013 * ^ A B Gover, J E B, Mawer, A and Stenton, F M 1938 The Place-Names of Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
English Place-Names Society volume XV, 8 * ^ "North-Herts.gov.uk" (PDF). * ^ Stenton, Sir Frank (1971). Anglo-Saxon England. Oxford University Press. pp. 43, 296. ISBN 0 19 821716 1 . * ^ "History Files". * ^ Hindley, The Anglo-Saxons - The beginnings of the English nation, 47. * ^ Sir Henry Ellis (1833). A general introduction to Domesday Book: accompanied by indexes of the tenants in chief, and under tenants, at the time of the survey, as wall as of the holders of lands ... Volume 1. Commission on the Public Records. p. 263. * ^ A B "Hitchin: Introduction and manors". A History of the County of Hertford. 3. 1912. pp. 3–12. Retrieved 15 September 2010. * ^ Saunders, G & Winter, M 2009 Brooker's Yard, Hitchin, Hertfordshire: Archaeological Assessment Report The Heritage Network (report 560), 7 * ^ Fitzpatrick-Matthews, K J & Fitzpatrick-Matthews T 2008 The Archaeology of Hitchin
Hitchin
from Prehistory to the Present North Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
District Council Museums ">(PDF). * ^ "Preston Herts". * ^ Madgin, Hugh (2009). Hitchin
Hitchin
Through Time. Britain & Ireland: Amberley Publishing. ISBN 1848687451 . * ^ Tailor, Robert (May 1697), "Account of a Great Hailstorm", Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (Great Britain); vol. 19, pp. 577-578 * ^ "Councils and Politics". Hitchin
Hitchin
Forum. Retrieved 25 February 2012. * ^ Burge, Laura. " Hitchin
Hitchin
Voted 9th Best Town In UK". The Comet 24. Archant Community Media Ltd. Retrieved 20 March 2013. * ^ Burge, Laura. " Hitchin
Hitchin
Festival to launch". The Comet 24. Archant Community Media Ltd. Retrieved 25 February 2012. * ^ "Mary Angela "Mekitty" Dickens (1862 - 1948) - Find A Grave Memorial". * ^ "Pam Rhodes". The Speakers Agency. Retrieved 10 September 2017.

* ^ "Russell, Robert Tor in Oxford Art Online". www.oxfordartonline.com. Retrieved 2010-09-06. (requires login or UK library card) * ^ "Second Lieutenant Frank Edward Young VC". www.bedfordregiment.org.uk. Retrieved June 2, 2013. * ^ Judge, Ann. "The BBC
BBC
\'Just William\' at Hitchin
Hitchin
British Schools". Herts Memories. Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
County Council . Retrieved 25 February 2012. * ^ Bergan, Ronald (July 29, 2003). "Obituary: Bob Hope". London: The Guardian.

ref 6 should be credited to Offer - In Search of Clofesho Tessa Publications 2002. In his book Mr Hindley acknowledges this work