Historic Buildings

The Borough of Broxbourne was formed on 1 April 1974 when the ancient parishes of Cheshunt and Hoddesdon merged.  

The Borough has a long and interesting history and is fortunate to have a number of historical features remaining.  

  • Cheshunt takes its name from Cestrehunt which refers to a fortress or castle and lies one day's march north of London along the old Roman Road, Ermine Street.  Referred to in the Domesday book of 1086, Cheshunt contains the historical Churchgate area.  It has been the home of a number of historical figures including Lord Protector Richard Cromwell (great-grandson of Oliver Cromwell) who is buried in  the St Mary's Churchyard, Elizabeth before she became Queen Elizabeth l and also Cardinal Wolsey. 
  • Broxbourne was a hamlet.  It contains the remains of Broxbourne Mill which was mentioned in the Domesday Book and the 15th Century St Augustine's Church.        
  • Hoddesdon was a village.  Granted a market charter in 1253 Hoddesdon developed into a coaching centre with over 30 inns some of which remain today. See a time line of Hoddesdon.

Throughout the Borough there are 259 listed buildings, conservation areas and scheduled monuments.  For further information about the history of the Borough please visit Lowewood Museum.

                                                                                            HISTORICAL FEATURES

               

                              Four Swans Gantry                                                                            Theobalds Palace at Cedars park

                                           

                                Eleanor Monument                  Samaritan Woman                       Rye House                             New River

  • The original Four Swannes Gantry was built beside the now demolished Four Swannes Public House.  In 2007 a replica was made and attached to the Pavilion Shopping Centre while the original swans were moved to Lowewood Museum.
  • Cedars Park is steeped in history.  It was the location of Theobalds Palace, bought by William Cecil who often entertained Queen Elizabeth l. A favoured residence of James 1 it was demolished during the Civil war.  Later Cedars House was built on the site of the Palace.  The park was given to the people in 1919.
  • At the heart of Waltham Cross town centre stands the Eleanor Monument.  This was built by King Edward l following the death of his wife Queen Eleanor of Castile.  One of just three remaining structures, it was built in 1292 as one of the twelve overnight stops of the funeral procession from Lincoln to Westminster Abbey.
  • Originally a piece of 17th century art, in 1631 the Smaritan Woman was placed in Hoddesdon market square to provide water to the towns people.  This was poured from the pitcher into a small pond.  She stood for nearly 200 years before being moved to various locations in Hoddesdon.  She now stands outside Lowewood Museum.
  • The gatehouse is the only remaining part of Rye House which was where the Great Bed of Ware was displayed (now in the Victoria and Albert museum). This was so popular that Rye House station was built to accommodate the visitors.
  • The New River, which rus through the Borough, was built between 1608 and 1613.  Starting in Ware and ending in Islington, it was designed by Hugh Myddleton to carry drinking water from local springs into London.  It was so successful that it continues to supply water to this day.