Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hawkswick - A typical Victorian Gentleman's Residence

Hawksbury, St Michaels, St Albans circa 1900
Hawkswick, St Michaels parish, St Albans, was built around 1870 and was the home of four well-to-do businessmen and a Countess, and their live-in domestic staff. It is a good example of the kind of country home that successful businessmen were building or living in, within an hour's train journey into London. After the First World War, followed by the 1920's depression, such houses became uneconomical, which may be the reason why Hawkswick was demolished in 1931. The owners, or later tenants, were:
George Fernley Whittingstall,   c1870 - 1873
George Checkland,   1873 - 1879
John Sherriff Hill,   1881- 1897
Dowger Countess of Limerick,   1898-1900
Walter Reynolds,  1900 - 1924
I have updated the biographical information about the families who lived there, including additional press coverage. Further information about the house, with an emphasis on its description based on  several surviving sales brochures is available in Christine Aitken's excellent book on Childwickbury - which I have just reviewed. Christine and I used very different sources, and as a result our two accounts nicely complement each other.

St Michaels
St Albans
In addition I have taken the opportunity to restructure the pages on the parish of St Michael, part of which was in the borough of St Albans and the rest (including Childwickbury, Hawksbury and Gorhambury) were in the rural part of the parish.

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