A History of Preston

in Hertfordshire

Views of Temple Dinsley before the extensions of 1909

Views of Temple Dinsley after the extensions of 1909


Interior scenes at Temple Dinsley

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Temple Dinsley -

Views circa 1913

In July 2010, Benedict Fenwick (the grandson of Herbert and Violet Fenwick, owners of Temple Dinsley from 1908 -1918) kindly allowed me to photograph a wonderful album of Temple Dinsley memories. (An urn from Temple Dinsley that now occupies pride of place at Benedict’s home is shown right.)


This superb collection of views, professionally photographed, provides a snapshot of how this mansion was altered. Some of the photographs were included in Country Life magazine but many will not have been seen before. For those whose ancestors and family lived in Preston during this time, the photographs will be of particular interest as it is likely that they worked at Temple Dinsley, either in the grounds or the mansion. This is certainly true of my grandparents, Alfred and Emily Wray.

Because of the number of photographs, it is impossible to display them as full images. However, if a thumb-nail image shown below is clicked, a large photograph will be displayed. To return to this page, click the ‘back’ arrow top left of the screen.


The photographs are assembled below in six sections:

Views of Temple Dinsley before the extensions of 1909

Views of Temple Dinsley after the extensions of 1909

Interior scenes of Temple Dinsley

The grounds of Temple Dinsley

Views around Preston and more historic photographs of Temple Dinsley

Benedict Fenwicks photographs of 1989c














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The grounds of Temple Dinsley

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Views around Preston village

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Further historic images of Temple Dinsley

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Further photographs of Temple Dinsley taken by Benedict Fenwick circa 1989

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The views below are of:          

              The entrance and gates of Temple Dinsley

              Gardens and statuary

              Nearby woods

              The lodge and drive from St Alban’s Highway

              Outbuildings and fields

              ‘The Cottage’

The rare photographs below are of scenes from Preston village:


                                   School Lane viewed from Preston Green

                                   Bunyan’s Cottage           

                                   The bottom of Preston Hill

                                   I do not know the last cottage. Probably it was pulled down after 1913. If you recognise it,                                     please let me know. Link: Contact page

The next drawings and paintings are of historical interest:


                        Temple Dinsley about 1780 when in the hands of Thomas Harwood

                        The front view of Temple Dinsley mansion

                        New west wing of Temple Dinsley from Academy Architecture (1909)

The following photographs reflect Benedict’s consuming interest in architecture.                                       

The Cottage

Brief History of

Temple Dinsley

Pen and ink drawings by E H New 1894 - 1898

A watercolour of Temple Dinsley by Edna Lamb 1988