First houses in the Garden City
By Roger Filler
Handside Lane is one of only a handful of roads that pre-date Welwyn Garden City. It linked Hunters Lane (now Bridge Road), with Tinkers Hill (now Lemsford Lane). It’s good condition, compared to the many cart tracks that criss-crossed the estate, was due to it being the home of the two Handside farms, run by the Horn Family, who also farmed Brickwall Farm on the old A1.
Upper Handside Farmhouse
The Upper Handside Farmhouse was demolished in the late 1920s and stood at the head of what is now The Old Drive. The approach was framed by a row of Dutch Elms that suffered from Dutch Elm disease and were cut down in the 1960s. One of Upper Handside’s sheds was later converted into The Backhouse Room. Down the road was Lower Handside and all that remains now of that farm are the assorted farm building that comprise the Barn Theatre