Other research groups

The Society’s research activities

Researching the rich history of St Albans and its environs is a popular activity among Society members. By transcribing, collating and publishing important primary sources, they also create a resource of enduring value for other researchers and historians.

Research project groups

Property Research Group

A Property Research Group was formed in the 1990s and produced a series of databases on which information is recorded concerning architecture and occupancies of plots in St Peters parish in the Borough over time. Much information was gathered for the nineteenth century and earlier which is available to researchers.

Individual projects using the databases and other information which has been gathered and recorded elsewhere have resulted in papers on Bowgate & its Inns, Snatchup Alley, Building and Destruction of Adelaide Street, Almshouses & Early Vernacular Housing in St Peter’s Street, and others.

17th Century Research Group

This group, formed in the early 1990s, has already completed a number of research projects related to the urban history of St Albans between 1650 and 1700. You can read more in the Research area of the website. 

First World War Home Front Research Group

Starting in February 2013, the twenty-one members of this group focuses on the effect of the First World War on the social and economic development of St Albans. You can read more about their work in the Research area of the website. 

St Julian’s estate – from leper hospital to housing estate

We are a newly formed small group of members with differing but particular interest in the old St Julian’s estate.

The St Julian’s estate was centred on Watling Street, almost opposite St Bartholomew’s Church in St Stephens parish. At around 400 acres, it stretched down to the Abbey station on the one side and as far as Greenwood Park in Chiswell Green on the other. Originally a leper hospital attached to the abbey, it became a gentleman’s estate with a magnificent mansion house. Later it reverted to the status of a tenant farm for a wealthy family based at the Frythe in Welwyn.

The group has an overall picture of the history already and hopes to publish with chapters on each era of the estate’s existence. Input from other members with appropriate skills or interest is most welcome. Local knowledge and skills in transcription, research and writing up are particularly needed. Contact Kate Morris on kate@englishinfo.biz if interested.

Individual researchers

The suburban development of St Albans – Julia Merrick

Julia is researching the history of 19th century farms and the building of motorways in a small area of SW St Albans. She recently gave a talk to SAHAAS: ’From Farm to Avenue’. She says there is more to be done to cover the outer areas of St Albans, the surrounding rural history and changed economy of the countryside in the 20th century.

Julia uses oral history as well as written archives. She has published two articles in the SAHAAS Newsletter: A Century of a St Albans Nursery, No.208 May 2018 and Fire! Managing Rural Risk, No.212 May 2019. She contributed to the book by Kate Morris, St Albans – Gentry Town.

You can contact Julia at juliamm@talktalk.net