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North Mymms Schools & their Children
1700 - 1964

by Peter Kingsford


The purpose of this short history is to show and explain how the education of the children of North Mymms parish has changed over two and a half centuries.

The parish lies mostly between the A1000 and the A1(M) roads, four miles south of Hatfield, Hertfordshire. Early in the nineteenth century it had a population of about one thousand souls living on some 5000 acres. The parish was a group of settlements: the village of Welham Green, the street-like hamlets of Bell Bar and Water End, the outlying communities of Roestock and Little Heath which connected with Colney Heath and Potters Bar respectively and later, Brookmans Park when the railway served it.

The economy and the social structure of the parish depended a great deal, in two ways, on the nearness to London. The main crop, of hay, went to London and the return journeys brought the London dung for the fields. The convenient distance from the City also meant that, from the middle ages onwards, wealthy merchants settled in the parish as landowners, exercising patronage and giving employment. Agriculture was the chief livelihood and most of the wage earners were farm labourers. Their children and those of the artisans, gardeners, game-keepers and all the other ranks are the main subject of this history of the schools of the parish.

The welcome given to 'A Modem History of Brookmans Park' (1983) and to 'North Mymms People in Victorian Times' (1986) has encouraged the author to offer this publication. The story could not, however, have been written without the research, which has been freely drawn on, done by Marian Benton, Lilian Caras, Bill Killick and Jenny Rackstraw.

For the loan of documents and the gift of information grateful thanks are given to Mr D N Cheethain of Claytons, St Albans, the County Archivist of Hertfordshire and his staff, the Education Officer of the Mid Herts Division, Mr J P Fryer of Little Heath County Primary School, The National Society for Promoting Religious Education, North Mymms St Maw’s Church of England JMI School, The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and last, but no means least, to North Mymms - Parish and People by Dorothy Colville.

For the illustrations the author is indebted to R G Colville, C R Hills and Bill Killick. (Editor's Note: Illustrations yet to be added).

I wish to thank also R G Colville and Lionel Munby, chairman of the Hertfordshire Local History Council, for reading the typescript. Any errors are all my own.

Peter Kingsford, 1987

Index - North Mymms Schools & their Children 1700 - 1964
Time Chart - Key dates in the educational history of North Mymms
Sources - Where Peter Kingsford researched his material for the book

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