Yesterday Dr Isobel Thompson, of the Historic Environmental Unit at Hertfordshire County Council, gave a very interesting talk on the Hertfordshire Historic Environment Record which holds details of archaeological finds and investigations, and other sites and monuments up to the time of the Second World War. In addition there is a comprehensive collection of air photographs of the county covering the last 40 years. While much of the detailed information is not available online, some is available on the Heritage Gateway web site where a map will show locations of the sites records (and for monuments and some buildings brief information) However you can also see a list of the Hertfordshire records and get a summary of the site record.
While the information on this site will be of little interest to the "pure" genealogist there could be information of interest to the students of local history, and those who want to know more about the places where their ancestors lived. For instance, one to Isobell's slides showed the area north of Tring around the deserted medieval village of Betlow. Betlow farm was almost certainly the former manor house and some of my ancestors were lord of the manor of Betlow. I was delighted to find an appropriate record on the Heritage Gateway site by looking through the list of records in the area of Long Marston.
It was clear from questions the the flow of information could be both ways. The medieval fields uncovered when the water levels were low were unknown to her and I have sent her details of Medieval Field Ridges at Starttops Reservoir, near Tring. The Hertfordshire unit has recently collected together information on Second World War remains - and hopes to record evidence remains relating to the First World War. I have therefore drawn Isobell's attention to information on Chalk Hill Rifle Range, Sandridge.
[I will be posting details of the Heritage Gateway on the main web site when I am less busy after Easter - but there may be a longer delay as a mysterious software glitch means that I have not been able to update the online version of the site for several days.]