Book tells story of Sopwell area of St Albans
THE RIVER Ver is the link which runs between Jacqui Banfield-Taylor’s new book and a celebration of the good things about living in the Sopwell area of St Albans.
For the river flows through Sopwell on its way to its confluence and Sopwell: A History and Collection of Memories, makes frequent reference to its role in the development of the area.
The new book stems from a decision by the Sopwell Residents Association (SRA) in 2009 to celebrate and promote the good things about living in their locality.
Initially it focused on the green spaces but the project soon mushroomed to incorporate the history of a previously neglected part of St Albans.
It has become a vessel for a mixture of formal history and informal recollections which follow the landscape and built environment of Sopwell through the gradual change from relative rural isolation in medieval times to the rapid development of pre and post-war estates.
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Written by Sandy Norman, a member of the Sopwell Residents Association, plenty of research has gone into the history, sourced from the likes of parish records and tithe maps.
It features such well-known landmarks as the Nunnery Ruins and the Holy Well as well as details of farms, factories, mills, the watercress beds and everything from big houses to small cottages. For those of a more grisly bent, there are tales of arson and murder as well.
- 1 14 of the best places for a curry in Hertfordshire according to readers
- 2 Campaign to save Harpenden pub which teamed up with Wheathampstead Indian restaurant
- 3 11 of the prettiest streets in St Albans
- 4 Nightmare return for Joe Newton as own-goal gives St Albans City victory over Havant
- 5 St Albans City over bad start says Chris Winton as improved results and performances continue against Havant
- 6 St Albans Charter Market meeting to be held in public
- 7 Remembering one of Hertfordshire's best-known estate agents
- 8 Man in his 80s dies after collision between lorry and mobility scooter
- 9 Classic cars raise money for three Harpenden charities
- 10 Former Coventry City junior Joe Newton has eyes on a return to the professional game
The book is also fully illustrated with some images published for the first time.
It costs �15 and is on sale from Waterstones in St Peter’s Street and the Tourist and Information Centre at the Town Hall. It can also be obtained directly from SRA c/o 23 Tavistock Avenue, St Albans.