Welwyn Garden City's Beginings
The Panshanger Estate
By Susan Hall
On 10 May 1919 on page 4 the following advertisement appeared in the Hertfordshire Mercury:
By Order of the Right Hon. Lord Desborough
Situated near Hertford, Hatfield and Welwyn. Outlying portions of the Panshanger Estate, including twelve good farms known as Stanborough, area 123 acres, Upper and Lower Handside, 416; Brick Wall, 185; Roebuck, 98; Digswell Water, 330; Digswell Lodge, 336; Coltsfoot, 176; Bulls Green, 46; Burnham Lodge, 28; Tewin Hill, 311;Holwell Hyde, 361; Fast End Green,117; together with Small Holdings and Cottages, Heavily Timbered Woodland (ready for felling), and the very attractive residence Digswell House, with about 190 acres; also numerous good building sites, covering a total area of about 3,300 acres
Daniel Smith, Oakley and Garrard will offer the above properties for sale by Auction in numerous lots at the Public Hall, Hatfield on Friday 30th May 1919 at 2.30 o’clock precisely.
On the opposite page was the following:
The Panshanger Estate
A coming sale
The valuable freehold outlying portions of the Panshanger estate, including twelve good farms, and including Digswell House- some 3,300 acres in extent – are to be sold by Messrs Daniel Smith, Oakley & Garrard, at the public Hall, Hatfield, on Friday afternoon, of 30th May. The owner is the right Hon. Lord Desborough, K.C.N.O. We are informed that Tewin Water Park, together with about 600 acres of land, has been sold privately to Mr Otto Beit; the shop property in Hertford, formerly Messrs, Partridge & Webb. Mr A J Sheffield, and Mrs Farrow, in Fore Street, and Messrs Simson & Co., and Mr C A Sinden, in Market Place, has been sold privately to the various tenants.
In the Hertfordshire Mercury dated 23 July 1919, on page 2 the following article appeared:
New Garden City at Welwyn
At the recent Panshanger Estate sale the area disposed of was 2,817 acres, and the price realized was £106,735. Many of the lots were purchased with a view to the creation of a new Garden City. A company will be specially formed to develop the the proposed new township. The plans are by no means settled; in fact, they are only just being formulated. There is reason to think, however, that the company will aim at the formation of a town of about 8,500houses, with certain types of commercial undertakings and a wide belt of agricultural land. The layout of the estate will include a aeroplane station in the expectation of an aerial transit service being established so as to put the new centre in effective touch with London.
The next article appeared in the Hertfordshire mercury on 30 August 1919, on page 5:
The New Garden City. – The Garden City is to be established at Welwyn will occupy about 2,000 acres of the Panshanger estate,in addition to other ground. it will extend from Welwyn Station to within three-quarters of a mile of Hatfield station, and will run on both sides of the railway.The factory area will be about midway between the two stations, and of course, a new station will be built at this point to accommodate traffic.It is not far from the Great North Road. The proposed scheme is an advance as regards size, planning, study of the amenities and equipment of the town in any existing garden city.
The rest as they say is history.