Hoddesdon Town Centre
Hoddesdon shown within Hertfordshire
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
Hoddesdon is in the English county of Hertfordshire, situated in the Lea Valley. The town grew up as a coaching stop on the route between Cambridge and London. It is located 4 miles (6.4 km) southeast of Hertford, 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Waltham Cross and 11 miles (18 km) southwest of Bishop's Stortford. At its height during the 18th century, more than 35 coaches a day would pass through the town. It saw a boom in the mid 20th century as gravel was extracted from the area to be exhausted by the 1970s. The lakes and water pits left behind have been used for local leisure amenities. Today, Hoddesdon has a little light industry but is mainly a London commuter belt town. The town hosted the eighth Congres Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne in 1951. It is twinned with the Belgian city of Dinant.
The Prime Meridian passes just to the east of Hoddesdon.
The name "Hoddesdon" is believed to be derived from a Saxon or Danish personal name combined with the Old English suffix "don", meaning a down or hill. The earliest historical reference to the name is in the Domesday Book.
Hoddesdon was situated about 20 miles (32 km) north of London on the main road to Cambridge and to northern towns and cities. The road forked in the centre of the town, with the present High Street dividing into Amwell Street and Burford Street, both leading north to Ware. From an early date there were a large number of inns lining the streets to serve the needs of travellers. A market charter was granted to Robert Boxe, lord of the manor, in 1253. By the 14th century the Hospital of st Laud and St Anthony had been established in the south of Hoddesdon. The institution survived the dissolution of the monasteries, but ceased to exist by the mid 16th century, although it is commemorated in the name of Spital Brook which divides Hoddesdon from Broxbourne.
In 1336 William de la Marche was licenced to build a chapel of ease in the town. The building, known as St Katharine's Chapel survived until the 17th century, when it was demolished. The tower survived until 1836. The chapel was used by pilgrims to the shrine at Walsingham.
The town was considerably enlarged in the reign of Elizabeth I, and a number of inns in the High Street date from this time. The monarch granted a royal charter in 1559/60, placing the town government under a bailiff, warden and eight assistants. The charter also established a free grammar school based on the site of the former hospital, and this was placed under the care of the corporation. Neither the borough or the school flourished, however, and both had ceased to exist by the end of the century. In 1567 Sir William Cecil acquired the manor of Hoddesdonsbury and two years later Elizabeth granted him the neighbouring manor of Baas. From that date the Cecils maintained a connection with the town which is recorded by the naming of The Salisbury Arms (anciently the Black Lion Inn) : the title Marquess of Salisbury was granted to James Cecil in 1789.
In 1622 Sir Marmaduke Rawdon built Rawdon House, a red-brick mansion which still survives. Rawdon also provided the town with its first public water supply, flowing from a statue known as the "Samaritan Woman".
A new chapel of ease, dedicated to St Paul, was built in 1762. This was subsequently rebuilt and enlarged and in 1844 become the parish church when Hoddesdon was created a separate ecclesiastical parish. Previously the town was divided between the two parishes of Broxbourne and Great Amwell. The boundary between the two parishes ran through an archway in the town's High Street. When this building was demolished in the 1960s, a specially inscribed stone was set into the pavement marking the historic boundary. In place of St Katharine's Chapel a new clock house was built.
Brewing was first established in the town in about 1700. In 1803, William Christie established a brewery in the town, and it became a major employer and one of the largest breweries in England. The brewery continued in operation until 1928. Most of the brewery buildings was demolished in 1930, although part was converted into a cinema itself since demolished. Some remnants of the establishment remain in Brewery Road.
By the mid-19th century the town still consisted principally of one street, and had a population of 1,743. Malt was being produced and transported to London via the River Lea. There were also a number of flour mills. Trade in Hoddesdon was centred on the hops market each Thursday. As time went on, more and more hops were carried on the river rather than the roads and the Wednesday meat market took predominance. The Wednesday market has survived in Hoddesdon and was joined in the late 20th century by a Friday market.
Following the Second World War Hoddesdon increasingly became a dormitory town, forming part of the London commuter belt. Much of the town centre was demolished in the 1960s and 1970s, with the construction of the Tower Centre and Fawkon Walk shopping centres. The opening of a bypass in 1974 changed the nature of the town, with through traffic curtailed.
Hoddesdon is the only small town in Britain with a sizeable Italian community. Italians emigrated to the Lea Valley in the 1950s and 60s to work in the nearby garden nurseries, and they and many of their descendants still live in the area. The Festival of San Antonio is celebrated annually in June in the town with a street procession, although nowadays it is a low-key festival since many of the participants are elderly. An Italian consul is resident at Broxbourne Council.
Borough council 
Hoddesdon comprises three wards of the Borough of Broxbourne: Hoddesdon North, Hoddesdon Town and Rye Park. Each ward returns three borough councillors to the thirty-eight member council. Councillors are elected by thirds, with one councillor being elected each year except when there are county council elections. As of 2011 all nine of Hoddesdon's councillors are members of the Conservative Party, who hold a large majority on the council.
The borough council is responsible for services such as refuse, housing and planning.
County council 
Hoddesdon returns two county councillors to the 77 member Hertfordshire County Council. One councillor is elected for each of the two electoral divisions of Hoddesdon North and Hoddesdon South (which also includes Broxbourne). The entire county council is elected every four years. The last elections were held in 2009. Both of Hoddesdon's county councillors are members of the majority Conservative group.
Civic history 
Part of Hoddesdon was created an urban district by the Local Government Act 1894, the remainder becoming the parish of Hoddesdon Rural in the Ware Rural District. In 1937 a County Review Order enlarged the urban district by taking in the entire Hoddesdon Rural parish and parts of the parishes of Broxbourne, Great Amwell, Stanstead Abbotts and Wormley. The western boundary of the urban district was fixed by the track of the Roman Ermine Street. Hoddesdon Urban District was abolished in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972, when it merged with Cheshunt Urban District to become the Borough of Broxbourne. 2 2 enjoys the history of men in Hoddesdon.
Hoddesdon High Street has many shops, including fast food outlets, pubs, estate agents, charity shops, banks, travel agents, a bookshop and a library. At the north of the High Street behind the Clock Tower is the "Tower Centre" shopping centre, which is known for its high turnover of stores and distinct lack of tenants. It has undergone a major refurbishment, in hope of attracting large national retailers. Fawkon Walk, to the west of the High Street, is also undergoing redevelopment, the first phase of which is now complete and comprised a new Aldi store. Sainsbury's, once in Fawkon Walk, occupies a new site to the east of the High Street. Other notable outlets in the town centre include Boots, two Lloyds pharmacies, Tesco, Ladbrokes, KFC, Asda (formerly a Netto and a Co-op), and Cafe Nero. In the High Street there are many pubs and restaurants.
Since the re-opening of the High Street to traffic in 2009 the town has experienced an upturn in popularity with very few empty shops. In addition, the number of 'town events' has increased which has added a new lease of life. A number of new independent traders have moved in and Hoddesdon attracts many shoppers who also enjoy the local restaurants.
There are two state secondary schools in Hoddesdon - The John Warner School (a community, foundation comprehensive for 11-18 year olds) and Sheredes School (a community, comprehensive, for 11- 18). John Warner has specialist status in Science and sport and Sheredes is well regarded in and the arts.
Both schools are among the most improved in the country - in 2011, Sheredes was the most improved school in Hertfordshire and within the top 1% of schools nationally, In 2007 the John Warner School received congratulations from Mr Jim Knight, Minister of State for Education for being placed 24th in the ‘100 most improved schools in the country’. This award is a combination of eight years continuous improvement in examination results.
In 2012 Sheredes received the coveted artsmark gold award in recognition of the outstanding work in the arts. The school is one of only a handful of schools nationally to have been awarded this for a fourth time.
Sport and leisure 
|Waltham Cross Bus Station||Hertford Bus Station||Cheshunt,
|Arriva Shires & Essex,
|Mon-Sat (310), Mon-Fri peaks (310A), Sundays (311). Centrebus operates Sunday service, under contract to Herts CC.|
|323||Broxbourne Station||Essex Road Industrial Estate||Hoddesdon||SM Coaches||Mon-Fri peak hours. Herts CC contract. Times|
|323A||Hoddesdon Clock Tower||Harlow Bus Station||Stanstead Abbotts||SM Coaches||Mon-Fri shopping hours. Times|
|392||Harlow Town Station||Rye Park Old Highway||Nazeing,
|Network Harlow||Mon-Sat. Essex CC contract. Times|
|641||Broxbourne Station||Hatfield Business Park||Hertford, University of Hertfordshire||Uno||Mon-Fri University term time only.|
|C3||Waltham Cross Holdbrook Estate||Harlow Bus Station / Hertford Bus Station||Cheshunt, Broxbourne||Centrebus||Mon-Sat. 2 buses per hour operate to Harlow, 1 bus per hour to Hertford.|
|C4||Waltham Cross Bus Station||Hertford Bus Station||Cheshunt, Ware||Centrebus||Sundays.|
Railway Services 
Linking the town to the A10, the A1170 Dinant Link Road has an overly large junction between the link road and the A10, and was built with space available to continue the road westward over the A10 as originally planned.
Notable people 
- Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour (1848–1930), Conservative politician and prime minister of the United Kingdom 1902 - 1905. Attended the Grange Preparatory School, Hoddesdon.
- Francis Maitland Balfour (1851–1882), comparative embryologist and morphologist, younger brother of the above, also attended Grange School.
- William Ellis (1794–1872), missionary and author. Lived in the town from 1844, and served as a minister to an Independent congregation. Died at his residence on 9 June 1872.
- William Christie Gosse (1842–1881), explorer and surveyor, was born in Hoddesdon, emigrated to Australia in 1850. In 1859 he entered the Government service of South Australia.
- John Hoole (1727–1803), translator, attended school in Hoddesdon.
- William Josiah Irons (1812–1883), Church of England clergyman and theological writer. Born in Hoddesdon 12 September 1812.
- John Loudon McAdam (1756–1836), engineer and roadbuilder lived in the town from 1827.
- Hugh Paddick (1915–2000), comedy actor, born in Hoddesdon.
- Colin Pratt (born in Hoddesdon 1938), former motorcycle speedway rider.
- Richard Rumbold (c 1622-1685), Cromwellian soldier and conspirator in the Rye House Plot.
- Lena Zavaroni (1963–1999), popular singer and entertainer. Spent some of her final years in Hoddesdon.
See also 
- "Office for National Statistics, 2001 Census, Key Statistics for HCC settlements. Usual resident population (numbers)" (PDF).
- Sue Garside (2008). "Hoddesdon". Rotary Club of Hoddesdon. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
- William Page (editor) (1912). "Parishes: Broxbourne with Hoddesdon". A History of the County of Hertford: volume 3. British History Online. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
- "Markets and fairs". Lowewood Museum. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-18.[dead link]
- "Samaritan Woman in Hoddesdon". Lowewood Museum. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-18.[dead link]
- "Christie Photo Album". Lowewood Museum. 2007-06-01. Retrieved 2008-07-18.[dead link]
- Allen Eyles and Keith Scone, Cinemas of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, 2003
- Samuel Lewis (editor) (1848). "Hoddesdon". A Topographical Dictionary of England. British History Online. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
- San Antonio Festival Retrieved
- "Local councillors". Borough of Broxbourne. 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-07.
- "County Councillors - ordered by district". HertsDirect. Hertfordshire County Council. Retrieved 2008-07-18.[dead link]
- "Balfour, Arthur James, first earl of Balfour (1848–1930)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. 2004. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- Brian K Hall (2004). "Balfour, Francis Maitland (1851–1882)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- Norman Etherington (2004). "Ellis, William (1794–1872)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- "Gosse, William Christie (1842 - 1881)". Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online Edition. Australian National University. 2006. Retrieved 29 December 2008.
- Vivienne W Painting (2004). "Hoole, John (1727–1803)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- G C Boase (2004). "Irons, William Josiah (1812–1883)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- Brenda J Buchanan (2004). "McAdam, John Loudon (1756–1836)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- "Obituary: Hugh Paddick". The Independent. 17 November 2000. Retrieved 2008-07-17[dead link]
- Robin Clifton (2004). "Rumbold, Richard (c1622–1685)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- John Van der Kiste (2004). "Zavaroni, Lena Hilda (1963–1999)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- "Hoddesdon Society Website". Hoddesdon Society. Retrieved 2009-03-28.