WELWYN /ˈwɛlɪn/ is a village and civil parish in
England. The parish also includes the villages of
Oaklands . It is sometimes called OLD WELWYN to distinguish it from
the much newer settlement of
Welwyn Garden City , about a mile to the
south, though some residents dislike the suggestion of inferiority or
irrelevance that tends to be implied by the moniker "Old" and prefer
* 1 Etymology
* 2 History
* 3 Historical descriptions
* 4 Transport
* 5 Education
* 6 Sports
* 7 Local points of interest
* 8 Twinning
* 9 See also
* 10 References
* 11 External links
The name is derived from Old English welig meaning "willow",
referring to the trees that nestle on the banks of the River
it flows through the village. The name itself is an evolution from
weligun, the dative form of the word, and so is more precisely
translated as "at the willows", unlike nearby Willian which is likely
to mean simply "the willows".
Through having its name derived from welig rather than sealh (the
more commonly cited Old English word for willow),
Welwyn is possibly
cognate with Heligan in Cornwall whose name is derived from helygen,
the Cornish word for willow that shares a root with welig.
The nearby modern village of
Welwyn North railway
station) was originally called 'High Welwyn' when first developed at
the beginning of the 20th century.
Situated in the valley of the River
Welwyn has hosted human
activity since the
Palaeolithic with stone tools from that era having
been found alongside the river and further inland across the area.
Settlement across the area seems to have become established during the
Bronze Age according to various recovered artefacts and crop marks
left by round barrows and burial mounds from that period.
Iron Age remnants have not been detected until the Late Iron Age,
with various local chieftain burials dated to the 1st Century BC
gaining national prominence. The
Belgae Celtic culture colonised much
England in the 1st century BC, with
Welwyn in the
area believed to have been settled by the
Catuvellauni tribe. In
Graham Robb\'s book "The Ancient Paths" there is a suggestion that
Welwyn lay on a late-Celtic highway running in the direction of the
summer solstice angle straight from
Bury St Edmunds
Bury St Edmunds to
Catuvellauni headquarters at
Verlamion outside modern-day St
Albans . Separately, it can be shown that the line of the Roman road
Welwyn (see below) is in a direct alignment with the pre-Roman
Belgic tribal centres of
Verlamion (for the Catuvellauni) and Venta
Icenorum for the
Following the Roman invasion,
Welwyn was settled by the Romans . The
area was marshy in times past, and the settlement of
Welwyn was a
known fording point across the river since at least Roman times when
Roman road through the village was laid out, leading to the
establishment of the settlement around the road and the ford. Many
Roman artifacts have been found in and around the village, including
the remains of several Roman villas close by. The
Welwyn Roman Baths
(the remains of a third-century Roman bath house ) have been preserved
and are open to the public. One particular excavation revealed a large
Roman cemetery very close to the site of the current church, which
itself is known to date back to at least Saxon times (see below). The
church lies directly alongside the route of the Roman road.
Welwyn was at the heart of the territory of the Anglo-Saxon Tewingas
tribe and was the site of an early minster church . In 1990, a
proposal was made to rename the village as "
Welwyn Minster" to shake
off the unpopular "Old" name.
The massacre on St. Brice\'s day on November 13, 1002, when the
Saxons turned on their newly settled Danish neighbours, is stated to
have commenced near Welwyn.
A Norman church was built on the site of the Saxon church about 1190.
The nave of the present church (St Mary's), was built in the 13th
century, the chancel arch being the most obvious early structure.
There are two medieval corbels at the east end of the south aisle.
Patronage of the church passed through several hands until in 1549 it
was sold to the Wilshere family, who lived at
The Frythe until
Much later, in the 17th century, as it lies on the old Great North
Road , it became an important staging post and a number of coaching
inns remain as public houses . After the Great Northern Railway
by-passed the village due to the objections of local landowners,
Welwyn became less important. Having previously been seen as a town on
par with Hatfield and
Stevenage , it gradually was seen as a village.
The 20th century brought major expansion to the area, as estates to
the south, west and north of the village were built up.
Despite this long history, at the beginning of the 20th century
Welwyn was regarded as a sleepy backwater. One writer wrote that
Welwyn, a small town in the Maran Valley , can show little of interest
beyond many quaint cottages, and the church.
In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of
Welwyn thus: WELWYN, a village, a parish, and a
sub-district, in Hatfield district, Herts. The village stands on the
river Maran, 1¼ mile W of the Great Northern railway, and 5 N of
Hatfield; carries on shoe-making and wool-stapling; consists chiefly
of two well built streets; and has a head post-office,‡ a r. station
with telegraph, two hotels, a police station, a good ancient church,
two dissenting chapels, a large national school, an education charity,
a workhouse, and charities for the poor £26.—The parish includes
Woolmer-Green hamlet, and comprises 2,987 acres. Real property,
£7,044. Pop., 1,612. Houses, 320. The property is much subdivided.
Danesbury and Frythe are chief residences. The living is a rectory in
the diocese of Rochester. Value, £665.* Patron, All Souls College,
Oxford. Dr. Young was rector, and wrote here his "Night Thoughts." A
national school is at Woolmer-Green, and is used as a chapel of
ease.—The sub-district contains 4 parishes, and is a poor-law union.
Acres, 6,457. Pop., 2,21 1. Houses, 439.
A lengthier entry is given in William Page's 1912 History of the
County of Hertford.
Welwyn was noted for its congestion since the beginning of the 20th
century and in 1927 got what is claimed to be the first by-pass in
Britain. The A1 was upgraded to motorway standards north of
the 1960s and in 1973 the motorway was extended south past the
village, by-passing the existing by-pass. Today the village is the
point where the 6-lane motorway merges into 4-lanes and is the site of
extensive traffic jams in the evening peak. A decade ago there were
extensive plans to widen the whole road through the area to 8 lanes,
and upgrade the existing junction to create a long one-way system
running the length of the village. These plans were shelved, but
recently plans to provide a climbing lane at least on the section
north of the village have been discussed.
Buses are provided by
Centrebus , with some assistance
Hertfordshire County Council . Arriva's 300/301 Centraline
Welwyn to the major nearby towns of
Stevenage , Welwyn
Garden City , Hatfield ,
St Albans and
Hemel Hempstead , as well as
Woolmer Green and
Knebworth . The 301
additionally connects both the nearby hospitals in
Welwyn Garden City, while the 300 provides a direct link to
recreational areas such as Stanborough Lakes in
Welwyn Garden City and
Verulamium Roman town in St Albans. Buses run every 15 minutes
Monday-Friday, every 20 minutes Saturday, and hourly on Sunday.
Additional bi-hourly service 314 is provided by Centrebus, connecting
Green Line Coaches
Green Line Coaches 797 stops on the by-pass, providing an hourly
direct link to areas of
North London and the West End .
The nearest railway station is
Welwyn North railway station in the
nearby village of
Digswell , about a mile east from the village.
Trains are operated by
First Capital Connect
First Capital Connect and run every 30 minutes
Monday to Saturday south to London and north to
Hitchin and Stevenage,
with an hourly service to
Cambridge and to Peterborough
. On Sundays an hourly service operates from London to
There is no bus link to the station, although buses do link to nearby
Welwyn Garden City railway station .
There are two state schools in
Welwyn and one independent school.
The larger state school is
Welwyn St. Mary's Church of England
Primary School, situated off London Road which takes children aged
between 4 and 11 years of age (Reception to Year 6). Originally built
in 1940 as a secondary school, the school was later converted to a
primary school. The second is Oaklands Primary School, which
incorporates Acorns Preschool and Playgroup.
There is also Tenterfield Nursery School which is situated on London
Road close to the primary school. It takes children aged 3 to 4 years
Secondary state education is provided through schools in nearby
towns, such as Monks Walk School, in
Welwyn Garden city, and
Stanborough School near Stanborough Lakes.
There is an independent all-ages (nursery through to sixth form)
coeducational school on the eastern outskirts of
There is a tennis club, a sports ">
* ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics.
Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
* ^ Skeat, Walter W. (1904). The place-names of Hertfordshire,
Volume 2, Part 8. Printed for the East Herts Archaeological Society by
Stephen Austin & Sons, Limited. p. 67.
* ^ 'River Mimram' (chapter 7) by Tony Rook (Amberley Publishing,
* ^ Extensive Urban Survey -
Welwyn (PDF), English
Heritage, p. 2
* ^ Extensive Urban Survey -
Welwyn (PDF), English
Heritage, p. 2
* ^ The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology, OUP
* ^ Williamson, Tom (2000), The Origins of Hertfordshire,
Manchester: Manchester University Press, p. 114, ISBN 071904491X ,
* ^ Rowe, Anne; Williamson, Tom (2013), Hertfordshire: A Landscape
History, Hatfield: University of
Hertfordshire Press, p. 298, ISBN
1909291021 , retrieved 2014-07-20
* ^ The Anglo Saxons of
Welwyn — 10th Anniversary (PDF), 2010, p.
* ^ Robinson, Gwennah (1978). Barracuda Guide to County History,
Vol III: Hertfordshire. Barracuda Books Ltd. p. 12. ISBN 0-86023-030-9
* ^ Tompkins, Herbert W (1922). HERTFORDSHIRE, Second Edition,
Revised. Methuen & Co. p. 222.
* ^ Page, William (1912). A History of the County of Hertford:
volume 3. p. 165.
Welwyn St Mary\'s School Website
* ^ Sherrardswood School Website
Welwyn Tennis Club website
* ^ WSSC website
Welwyn Pegasus FC website
* ^ A B
* ^ Works of James Pulham ;background:none
Civil parishes of
Nettleden with Potten End
* Bishop\'s Stortford
Brent Pelham and
* Buckland and Chipping
* Eastwick and
* Great Amwell
* Little Munden
* Stanstead Abbots
Stanstead St Margarets
Stanstead St Margarets
Elstree and Borehamwood
* Caldecote and Newnham
Clothall and Luffenhall
* King\'s Walden
* Rushden and Wallington
* St Paul\'s Walden
Letchworth Garden City
* St Michael
* St Stephen
Ayot St Lawrence
Ayot St Peter
Northaw and Cuffley
Welwyn Garden City
* List of places in
* WorldCat Identities
* VIAF : 133702493
* GND : 4755858-1
Welwyn additional terms
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