The flowers of Preston Preston's crowning glory is its Bluebells and Wild Cherry in the woods around the village, Wain Wood and Hitch Wood - all that is left of the great forest which once stretched from Hitchin to Hatfield. Among the rarer flowers that have been found is the little Campion, “Silene Quinquevulnera" , so called because of the red patches on each of its five white petals like five wounds. Its natural habitat is the Channel Isles. In some of the hedges is to be seen that queer, partly-parasitic plant called Toothwort. The damp rides behind Dead Woman's Lane are carpeted with the Yellow Pimpernel and Creeping Moneywort. In the Winter, nowhere in all England are the Holly Trees to compare with those round Preston. Hornbeams also abound in the hedges; a reminder of the time when the neighbourhood supplied charcoal to London, when very little else was burnt. In the field of horticulture, Preston should be grateful to the brothers Pryor who lived at Laburnum Cottage and were one time owners of Temple Dinsley. 'Squire' Pryor (aka RdV) was the Amateur Champion Rose Grower for several years and his brother 'Long' Pryor was Amateur Champion Sweet Pea Grower and won many prizes for his Cactus Dhalias as well.
Sketch map of the village dated 1884
Copy of Jas Shilcock’s Plan of Village Green 5 July 1871
(I am grateful to Liz Hunter for allowing me to photograph the Preston Scrapbook and to the editor of the Hitchin Comet who granted permission to use the cutting from the N Herts Gazette)