Powerflush nearby to Hatfield
Hatfield is a town and civil parish in the borough of Welwyn Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England. It had a population of 29,616 in 2001, and 39,201 in 2011. The town is of Saxon origin. Hatfield House, the Marquess of Salisbury’s home, is the heart of the old town. Aircraft design and manufacture employed more people than any other industry from the 1930s, when de Havilland opened a factory, until the 1990s, when British Aerospace closed it. Hatfield was one of the post-war New Towns built around London, and it contains a lot of modernist architecture from the time period. There is a branch of the University of Hertfordshire there.
Hatfield is located 20 miles (30 kilometres) north of London, next to the A1(M) motorway, and has direct trains to London King’s Cross, Finsbury Park, and Moorgate. There has been a significant increase in commuters from London moving into the area.
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History from the beginning
Hatfield was known as Hetfelle during the early Saxon period, but by 970, when King Edgar gave 5,000 acres (20 km2) to the monastery of Ely, it had become known as Haethfeld. Hatfield is listed as the property of the Abbey of Ely in the Domesday Book of 1086, and, unusually, the original census data used by the compilers of Domesday survives, providing us with slightly more information than the final Domesday record. There are no other records until Henry III granted the Bishops of Ely rights to an annual four-day fair and a weekly market in 1226. Bishop’s Hatfield was the name given to the town at the time.
Hatfield House is the home of the Marquesses of Salisbury, the Cecil family. Elizabeth Tudor was imprisoned in what is now known as The Old Palace in Hatfield Park for three years. According to legend, she learned of her accession as queen here in 1558, while sitting under an oak tree in the Park. She held her first Council in Hatfield’s Great Hall (The Old Palace). The Great North Road (now the A1000) was rerouted in 1851 to avoid passing through the grounds of Hatfield House.
The town grew up around Hatfield House’s gates. Many historic buildings remain in Old Hatfield, including the Old Palace, St Etheldreda’s Church, and Hatfield House. The Old Palace was built in 1497 during the reign of Henry VII by the Bishop of Ely, Cardinal Morton, and the only surviving wing is still used for Elizabethan-style banquets today.
The Ely monks founded St Etheldreda’s Church, and the first wooden church, built in 1285, was most likely located where the current structure stands overlooking the old town.
The church of St Etheldreda, located near the top of the hill, has an Early English round arch with the dog-tooth moulding, but the rest of the structure is Decorated and Perpendicular, and has been extensively restored. The Salisbury chapel, located north of the chancel, was built by Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, who was buried here. It is designed in a classic and Gothic style. Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury is buried in a private section of the churchyard, alongside other members of the family.
Industry of aerospace
Hatfield’s de Havilland airfield and aircraft factory opened in 1930, and by 1949, it had grown to become the town’s largest employer, employing nearly 4,000 people.
Hawker Siddeley purchased it in 1960, and it merged with British Aerospace in 1978. It made a variety of small biplanes in the 1930s. During WWII, it developed the Mosquito fighter bomber and the Vampire, the second British production jet aircraft after the Gloster Meteor. After the war, facilities were expanded, and it produced the Comet airliner (the world’s first production jet liner), the Trident airliner, and the DH125, an early bizjet.
British Aerospace closed the Hatfield plant in 1993, after relocating the BAe 146 production line to Woodford Aerodrome. The land served as the backdrop for Steven Spielberg’s film Saving Private Ryan, as well as the majority of the BBC/HBO television drama Band of Brothers. Later, it was adapted for use in housing, higher education, commerce, and retail.
Today, Hatfield’s aviation history is commemorated by the names of local streets and pubs (for example, Comet Way, The Airfield, and Dragon Road), as well as the 1930s-era Comet Hotel (now owned by Ramada). The Harrier Pub (formerly The Hilltop) is named after the Harrier bird rather than the aircraft, as evidenced by the original pub sign depicting the bird. The de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre, located at Salisbury Hall in nearby London Colney, preserves and displays many historic de Havilland aircraft as well as related archives.
Town of the Future
In 1944, the Abercrombie Plan for London proposed Hatfield as a New Town. It was included in the original Hertfordshire group, along with Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City, and Hemel Hempstead, in the New Towns Act of 1946. Hatfield New Town received 2,340 acres (9.5 km2) from the government, with a population target of 25,000. (The population had grown to 27,833 by 2001.) ) The Hatfield Development Corporation, tasked with developing the New Town, chose to construct a new town centre, rejecting Old Hatfield because it was on the wrong side of the railway, had no room for expansion, and was “out of scale with the town it would have to serve.” Instead, they chose St Albans Road, which is on the town’s east–west bus route. A road pattern was designed to discourage through traffic from taking short cuts through town while also allowing local traffic to move quickly.
Hatfield retains New Town characteristics, such as much 1950s modernist architecture and the trees and open spaces outlined in the original design. A redevelopment of the town centre was planned as of 2017.