Handside Lane

First houses in the Garden City

By Roger Filler

Handside Lane showing the first 50 houses built in WGC
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

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

This page was added on 29/07/2009.

Comments about this page

  • I lived in Handside Green (#5) from 1949 until just before I got married in 1970. The names of the families living there were Kinear, King, Sills, Hawkins are ones I remember. I do remember playing cricket and football on Handside Green. Dollimore’s van used to come round and my mum got her groceries from Ben Dollimore or his brother Frank.
    I have so many happy memories of WGC.

    By Roland Merry (25/03/2017)
  • Hi Rob. We lived in The Quadrangle from 1947. During the 50s we boys used to play cricket on Handside Green, with the stumps in front of the wooden bench seat. I remember hitting balls that rolled down the road in front of what must have been your house towards Russelcroft Road. There were very few parked cars around then. Happy times!

    By Peter (05/03/2017)
  • My Father moved to Handside Lane in the fifties with his elderly parents when he started his career at Roche ( where he subsequently met my mother) We lived at number 24 – clearly visible in this picture as the first hose on the right just past Handside Green and he in fact lived there until he died in 1992. Recent visits there have been disappointing with the roads seeming very “narrow” and clogged with parked cars – we used to have the Sunblest Van from Welwyn Bakeries , the Laundry van from the Hatfield Laundry and even the Coronal Lorry visiting as well as Mr Kimble the greengrocer from Kimpton!

    By Rob Marriott (02/02/2017)

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