A Timeline



This is a timeline that I originally extracted from a variety of sources which I hope is accurate, I am going to add as many dates of changes to the Garden City as I can find, (including significant current changes as they happen) on a regular basis.. The Garden City is not a museum and it is constantly changing and adapting to try and remain relevant

1898
"Tomorrow a Peaceful Path to Reform" by Ebenezer Howard published


1899
Garden City Association Inaugurated (GCA)


1901
Thomas Adams appointed Secretary to GCA

Ralph Neville K.C. appointed Chairman of GCA

GCA conference at Bourneville

Raymond Unwin moves the first resolution


1902
"Tomorrow a Peaceful Path to Reform" by Ebenezer Howard re-published as "Garden Cities of Tomorrow"

Garden City Pioneer Co. formed to create and manage the proposed Garden City

Howard and Adams begin search for site meeting six main requirements: 4000-6000 acres,

On or near rail service, water transport available, capable of economic drainage, a satisfactory water supply, near London or other centre.


1903
After several sites have been considered and rejected, Letchford Manor comes to their attention in the spring.

HerbertWarren the Pioneer Co's solicitor who's practice was in nearby Baldock inspects the site which is only 1014 acres, and then in the next few weeks his clerk arranges the purchase of various surrounding areas of land to make a total of 3818 acres.

24 July The Pioneer Co begin to discuss the creation of a layout plan for the city.

01 September First Garden City Ltd. (FGC Ltd) registered and first £80,000 of capital sought by the issue of £5 ordinary shares with a maximum dividend of 5%.

GNR erect a temporary halt by the railway

Earl Grey declares Letchworth open at a site near what is now named Muddy Lane, on a very wet and muddy day.

The search for a plan is put out to a limited competition to Lethaby and Ricardo, Parker and Unwin, Geoffrey Lucas with Sidney Cranfield.


1904
The plans are presented and in January Parker and Unwins is accepted

February The Parker and Unwin Plan is issued as the Company's Plan and a public launch is planned

March Parker and Unwin are appointed consulting architects to oversee building and design standards

Garden City Estate Offices built near station

Laneside and Crabby Corner built in Letchworth Lane (Parker and Unwin) homes for Parker 1906-1935 and Unwin 1904-1906.

Alpha Cottages, Baldock Road first built in New Garden City

Water Supply is from a bore in Baldock Road with a 250,000gal reservoir on nearby Weston Hills

Sewerage is via a temporary facility near what is now Bedford Road

Norton Way South is the first road established then Station Road


1905
The Sheds Built at the end of Nevells Road, near the station, housed unemployed labourers from London while they trenches for roads and sewers for a short while. They went on to be used as an exhibition centre in 1905, The first Infant School and then the temporary premises for the Spirella Co.

Eastholm (Parker & Unwin) started for Garden City Tennants Ltd - finished 1906

Cheap Cottage competition in Nevells Road (Exhibition Road), Cross Street, The Quadrant, Icknield Way, Willbury Road and some of Norton Way North, Birds Hill and Paddock Close..

Silver Birch Cottages in Station Road started (Parker & Unwin) completed 1907

Little Arundale (Parker & Unwin) now part of St Christopher School

Mrs Howard Memorial Hall built by public subscription, first public building in Letchworth

Temporary Station replaces previous rail facilities.

Gas Works belonging to FGC Ltd built in Works Road with sidings for coal

Demand for water is 10,000,000 gallon with 5 miles of mains built


1906
Skittles Inn (Parker & Unwin)

Westholm (Parker & Unwin) built for Garden City Tennants Ltd

More houses built in Norton Way North

The first shop opens in Leys Avenue no's 34-36 by Parker & Unwin is "The Garden City CoOperators"

The Cloisters (W.H.Cowlishaw) for Miss A.J Lawrence

Birds Hill (Parker & Unwin) for Garden City Tennants Ltd

Ridge Road (Parker& Unwin) for Garden City Tennants Ltd


1907
Second cottage competition in parts of Gernon Road, Pixmore Way, and Lytton Avenue

Letchworth offices for Parker & Unwin built in Norton Way South

"Howgills" Friends meeting house (Bennett& Bidwell) in South View

Several large houses with grounds begun on Sollershotts West's north side.

Electricity generator installed in Works Road restricted to supplying the industrial estate

Additional 250,000 gallon reservoir added


1908
North end of Leys Avenue by Bennett & Bidwell

Social Institute for Pixmore estate started. Now Hillshott school.

Edmundsbury Weaving Works (Parker&Unwin) Ridge Road


1909
The Collonade in Station Place

The Picture Palace the first cinema was built in Eastcheap with Electricity supplied by cable from Works Road especiallyto the Cinema .

Letchworth School - Barrington Road (Crickmer) now St Christophers School


1910
Melverly (Underwood&Kent) a large house in Pixmore Way

Electricity has spread to domestic customers and gernerating capacity has to be increased


1911
Sollershott Hall formerly "Homesgarth" a group of co operative houses promoted by and lived in by Ebenezer Howard 1911-1920

Rushby Mead developed for The Howard Cottage Society (Bennett & Bidwell,Parker & Unwin, Crickmer)


1912
Post Office (Bennet & Bidwell) in The Broadway

Spirella Building started

Permanent Station Building completed

Electric generating capacity has to be increased again

The Letchworth Modern School for Girls is set up at 325 and 327 Norton Way South


1913
Rail Bridge opened allowing Norton Way North and Norton Way South to be joined.

Further Houses in Norton Way North (Bennett & Bidwell)

Demand for water is now 85,000,000 gallons with 21 miles of mains, new 500,000 gallon reservoir installed


1914
Letchworth Museum (Parker) by the Town Square

Enlarged Garden City Estate Offices built in front of original small building (Parker & Unwin)

Broadway House (Barry Parker) originally The Boys Club (now demolished except the facade which is being incorporated into Morrisons Supermarket 1999 )

Ridge Avenue (Bennett & Bidwell) for Howard Cottage Society Ltd

Letchworth in the Great War. from HERTS AT WAR Project


1915
20 Jan St Christopher School Opens in two houses 28 & 30 Broadwater Avenue

Electricity supply capacity was increased again

Letchworth School closed due to difficulties brought about by the war is taken over by St Christophers and re-named Arundale. The school developed an association (which lasetd over 40 years) with its neighbour Annie Lawrence at The Cloisters who allowed them the use the swimming pool there and supported the school.
Kryn and Lahy sets up in Icknield Way to produce munitions


1916
First blocks for co operative housing for women built in Meadow Way (Crickmer) by Howard Cottage Society Ltd.

Electricity supply capacity increased again
Kryn and Lahy sets up steel foundry producing castings for various types for munitions, its largest output was that of tank parts.


1918
The Police Station annd Magistrates Courts (now demolished except the facade which is being incorporated into Morrisons Supermarket 1999)

St Christophers take over the Modern School in Norton Way South and re-open it as Co-educational


1919
Autumn, the foundation stone is laid for the low corner block on the corner of Spring Road and Broadway originally for part of St Christopher School (P Morley Horder)

Letchworth Urban District Housing - Pixmore Way


1920 British Tabulating Machine Co moved from London to Letchworth, Hertfordshire


1921
Co Operative Wholesale Society by L G Ekins built in Eastcheap (later changed to "Living" and now "Wilkinsons" and "The Hospice Shop"

Electricity supply capacity increased again


1922
Midland Bank and adjoining shops including The Arcade (Bennett & Bidwell)



1923 The Free Church (Barry Parker) in Norton Way South

St Pauls Church (A Heron Ryan Tennyson) Pixmore Way

Letchworth Urban District Council build sewerage treatment plant near Stotfold Road, First Garden City Ltd have laid 21 miles of sewers


1924
Second part of co operative housing development in Meadow Way built


1926
Nat West Bank (Parker consultant architect) adjoining Estate offices
Irvin Air chute Factory established .. some wartime photos


1930
Neville Bridge (Barry Parker)


1931
The Grammar School (Barry Parker) on the East side of The Town Square is now council offices.


1934
Large block in Broadway (L H Shattock) for St Francis College which also took over St Chistophers corner block also.


1935
The Broadway , new cinema in Eastcheap by Bennett & Bidwell operated just a few doors from the original cinema until that was demolished in the 1970's.

The Town Hall (Bennett & Bidwell)


1937
Parker adds accomodation to the offices in Norton Way South offices and moves there to live.


1938
The Roman Catholic Church of St Hugh of Lincoln (Nicholas and Dixon Spain) started

Library built by The Town Square (Crickmer)


1940 WWII:

Approximately 210 Turing Bombes were produced at Letchworth from 1940 to 1945 (in Letchworth these were more commonly known as 6/6502 or CANTAB machines).


Irvin production reaches peak of nearly 1,500 parachutes per week, By late 1945 there were 34,000 members of the Caterpillar Club, started by Irvins in 1922 , each member being awarded a tiny gold Caterpillar Pin for saving his life by parachuting from a disabled or flaming aircraft.



1961
St Georges Church (Peter Bosanquet)


1962
Library extended (Crickmer)

Museum extended (Crickmer)


1964
Office Block - previously ICL next to Town Square (now Nexus)


1968
St Michaels Church (Laurence King) next to the south end of The Town Square


1980
The Wynd Arcade , now The Gallery added between Station Road and Openshaw Way/The Wynd.