A History of Preston in Hertfordshire
What’s new
16 June 2024 The lives and accomplishments of two ‘Sons of Preston’ are described, Oliver and Peter Corbett who were born in the village in 1918 and 1920: O&E Corbett 1 May 2024 The 1921 census at Preston is analysed - with an in-depth appraisal of poultry farming in the village: 1921 census analysis 1 April 2024 The life of Margaret Corbett, Preston School head mistress for two stints during wartime, is described. M Corbett 1 March 2024 A reappraisal of whether Preston/Dinsley Castle existed: Preston Castle 4 February 2024 Two additions have been uploaded - a new article: The history of houses at the junction of Crunnells Green and Back Lane and A painting of School Lane by Samuel Lucas 1 January 2024 Some house-keeping has added significant information to the articles re: The Gribble family; Football at Preston and the Nuns of Elstow 1 December 2023 Unused extracts from Margaret Meadows’ Preston Scrapbook together with hitherto unseen photos of Preston have been uploaded. Link: Meadows 1 November 2023 Having purchased a Deed re: Preston’s Mission Room, I then had to find its location. Link: Mission Room 11 October 2023 The discovery of Julian Gribble’s previously unknown daughter is described. Link: J Gribble 1 October 2023 The history of the Temple Dinsley Lodges and their occupants is discussed. Link: TDLodges Also, the history of tennis at Preston is related. Link: Tennis 1 September 2023 Preston in the news - 1919. Link: News1919 Also, new information and photographs re Almina, Countess of Carnarvon and Ian Dennistoun have been uploaded - with some surprising news Link: Almina 1 August 2023 The remarkable story of John and Anna Hadfield (who lived at Sadleirs End, Chequers Lane from 1940 until 1952) is chronicled. Link: Hadfields 11 July 2023 Newspaper article re: History of Preston cricket from 1954. Link: Cricket 1954 1 July 2023 Preston in the News - 1936. An appraisal of news cutting re: Preston in local papers during 1936 Link: News1936 6 June 2023 The lives at Preston of my greatx3 and 2 grandparents, William and Mary (nee Humphreys) Ward and William and Ann (nee Bradden) Ward are described. Link: William Ward 1&2 1 June 2023 The story is told of my first ancestors, Joseph and Elizabeth Ward, to live at Preston Link: Joseph Ward 24 April 2023 An appraisal of the Hammond family at Sootfield Green, Preston in the 1930s. Link: Hammonds at Sootfield Green 30 March 2023 Latest news from Preston Parish newsletter of the sale of Princess Helena College. Link: Newsphc 23 March 2023 Stunning aerial photographs of Minsden Chapel Link: Minsden from the air 1 March 2023 Preston in the News - 1935. An appraisal of news cutting re: Preston in its local paper, the Hertfordshire Express in 1935 Link: News1935 22 December 2022 The first known men from Preston who played cricket are revealed: Link: Cricket Also, four generations of the Fairey family of Preston are discussed in detail, including their origins in Hitchin. One descendant of the Faireys still resides in the village. Link: Faireys 12 November 2022 The story of a death along a ‘grassy lane’ at Preston in 1930 is recounted: Link: Cropper Also, my cousin, Charlie Wray (shoe repairer of Hitchin), is featured as well as his son, Rodney Wray, and his wife Judith of West Alley Arcade, Hitchin. Associated with Judith is Val Rivenell of Chequers Lane, Preston. Link: Charlie Wray 16 October 2022 Photographs and comments regarding renovations of Minsden Chapel are included and updated. Link: Minsden Chapel 8 October 2022 The results of my recent DNA test are discussed including their relevance to Preston and some Preston families. Link: DNA 27 September 2022 Reasons for Douglas Vickers’ purchase of Temple Dinsley are discussed - and why he sold the mansion in 1929 Link: Vickers 24 August 2022 An in-depth study of the gardens of Temple Dinsley is presented with supporting photographs, maps drawings and even an 18thC watercolour Link: TD Gardens 9 August 2022 My thirteen uncles and aunts, the children of Alfred and Emily (nee Fairey) Wray of Chequers Cottages, Preston are discussed. Link: 13 uncles/aunts The life of Thomas Currell, the husband of Mary Fairey, is reviewed in detail. Link:Thomas Currell The life of my great grandmother, Mary (nee Fairey) Currell is featured. Link: Mary Fairey 10 June 2022 My grandparents, Alfred and Emily (nee Fairey) Wray of Chequers Cottages are discussed Link: Grandparents  22 May 2022 The lives of my great grandparents, Charles and Elizabeth (nee Breed) Wray are examined and their home at Austage End near Preston is featured. Link: Charles Wray (1820 - 1884) 29 March 2022 The details of the 1921 census for Preston and its environs were uploaded. Link: 1921 census 1 January 2022 The early history of cricket at Preston has been reappraised and founding fathers are suggested. Link: Cricket 1 December 2021 The tenancy at Temple Dinsley of Henry Brand from 1880 to 1889 is discussed Link: Henry Brand 1 November 2021 The tenancy at Temple Dinsley of Sir Frederick and Lady Georgiana Macmillan is featured. Link: Frederick Macmillan 13 October 2021 During the last six years, three books have been published that feature Preston and some of its past inhabitants. They are Helen Batten’s The Scarlet Sisters (2015) and The Improbable Adventures of Miss Emily Soldene: Actress, Writer, and Rebel Victorian (2021), and The Conscientious Objector’s Wife (2018) edited by Kate Macdonald. Link: Three new books 1 October 2021 Sir Joseph Priestley and Tatmore Place are featured, together with details of his childen’s lives. Link: Sir Joseph Priestley 15 September 2021 Red Lion, Preston’s CAMRA award Link: Red Lion 1 August 2021 The lives of early owners of Temple Dinsley, Benedict Ithell and his daughter, Martha are discussed. Link: The Ithells of Temple Dinsley How Thomas Harwood became Lord of the Manor after being a gentleman’s servant. Link: Harwood The Dartons, ‘Preston’s forgotten family’ are remembered - including, was Joseph Darton the secret son of Martha Ithell and Thomas Harwood? Links: The Darton family Pt 1; The Darton family Pt 2 5 July 2021 The overview of the history of Preston’s cottages has been re-written. Link: Cottages overview 20 June 2021 The changing face of Temple Dinsley between 1714 and 1908 is explored and discussed using plans, drawings and photographs. Link: The changing face of Temple Dinsley Also, the history of Temple Dinsley’s rose garden is traced. Link: The Rose Garden 21 May 2021 The life of Sidney Smith (police constable and soldier) together with his wife, Louisa, who lived at 4 Chequers Cottages, Preston from around 1950 is described Link: Sidney Smith 6 March 2021 Princess Helena College set to close on 31 August 2021 Link: PHC 10 December 2020 A chance discovery in a Hitchin newspaper revealed the true identity of my paternal great grandfather from Hitchin. My earlier belief as to his identity is discussed and the life of man himself is researched in detail. Link: My new ggf Following this are two articles about my new grtx2 and 3 grandparents. Links: My gx2gf and My gx3gf This may be of particular interest to anyone with connections to the Currells of Preston. 1 December 2019 “The Preston Tumulus” (at Gosmore) is discussed. Link: Tumulus To contact me, please email: p.wray@hotmail.co.uk
For returning visitors, the latest articles that have been added to this site are listed below, beginning with those most recently posted. This web site will be up-dated irregularly. Please check the dates below.