|The area of the Fontmell Close as it was in about 1900|
Some of the slides have details supplementary notes and I had planned to add more today - but have picked up a cold which has gone to my chest (I have asthma) so I decided that plenty of fresh air was better for me than spending hours at the computer. I hope to add the missing notes over the next week or so.
IMPORTANT UPDATEFollowing a note from Roger I have looked at my records of William Bennett, who made bricks on the site now occupied by Fontmell Close. William also had brickworks at Harpenden and Hemel Hempstead - and there appears to have been a chalk mine on site at Harpenden and a deep well on site at Hemel Hempstead. As he had lime kilns on Bernards Heath je almost certainly had a similar chalk mine and/or deep well. Failure of the capping of a shaft into a significant chalk mine could easily explain the rather large hole in the road. I have added details to the relevant page of the online text of the talk.