The census was taken on 31 March. There were 318 residents in Preston - 141 males
and 179 females. They included 51couples and 20 widows or widowers.
They occupied 62 cottages, an average of 4.4 inhabitants in each home. There were
7 farmhouses and two additional properties: ‘The Laburnums’ (now ‘Pryor House’)
and ‘The Cottage’ (‘The Dower House’). Two houses were unoccupied.
The following ‘core’ families were in Preston. They comprised 27 % of the village’s
These were the most popular Christian names:
One hundred and thirty-seven of the villagers (43%) were aged under 21 years. The
youngest was three-month-old George Jeeves from Castle Farm lodge and the oldest
was the widow, Mary Bushell, 80.
Of the 286 surviving villagers from 1891, 155 (54%) were still living in Preston
ten years ten years later. Forty-four moved within a five-mile radius of the village.
Another 17 remained in Hertfordshire and 22 left the county.
Seven relocated in Hitchin and six moved to London.
That Preston was a desirable place to live in 1901 is shown by the occupation at
‘The Cottage’ of Henry Anstruther, Lord of the Treasury.
Communication with the outside world was improved by the appointment of a telegraph
clerk and a postal messenger.