Christmas Carousel

Christmas Carousel

Every year, very near to Christmas, a wonderful carousel built in 1899, appears in Hitchin’s Market Place. Fun for children and adults alike.

16th Century Courtyard House


One range of a 16th century timber-framed courtyard house (some of the other ranges that would have formed the courtyard, have been lost) It’s to be found to the rear or west of Phillip’s Antiques on Bancroft in Hitchin.

The Biggin


The Biggin on Biggin Lane next to the market in Hitchin, used to be the Gilbertine Priory (founded in 1361 by Sir Edward de Kendale) and what is the Priory used to be the Carmelite Friary. The nave of the Gilbertine church survives in the south wing of the building and the Prior’s lodging on the first floor of the west wing. The east end was devastated by fire around 1500 and never rebuilt. After the dissolution in 1539, it was converted into a private house by adding a new east wing.

A Rather Grand Staircase


The beautiful grand staircase in the now closed, Phillips of Hitchin (A circa 1700 house on Bancroft in Hitchin)


A Painted Fireplace


A rare painted fireplace dating from about 1600. (Either Late Elizabethan or early Jacobean) It’s in a building at the back of what used to be Tim’s Art at 85 Tilehouse Street in Hitchin. It shows vegetation and perhaps a formal garden. The building is now in private ownership and can no longer be seen unfortunately but hopefully it has been preserved.

Friends Meeting House


The Modernist Friends Meeting House (Quakers) in Hitchin, was designed by Paul Mauger and built in 1958/9 on stilts and stands over the Quaker graveyard and holds the body of ‘Hitchin Worthy’ Frederick Seebohm 1833-1912. The Hertfordshire Hitchin Bank that Frederick Seebohm was part of, later became Barclays Bank.

A sad sight on Hollow Lane


A sad sight indeed, but a poignant one on Hollow Lane in Hitchin.  A Jamaican funeral with jazz musicians giving the sadly departed a good send off. (if good can ever be used to described the recently deceased)

Strange Building in Hitchin


This strange building is behind the restaurant Bella Vita on Sun Street. It’s either a terrible nightmare for an architect to ‘read’ or an absolute thrill to ‘decode’. I suspect (as do others) that it has been cobbled together from lots of other buildings (Cheap materials) I really enjoy looking at it, but make if it what you will. Derek Wheeler of ‘The Hitchin Historical Society’ has suggested that it was part of the Girls’ School that was run in Roslyn House during the 19th Century; and that later became a furniture shop until 1910 (approximately), accounting for the mélange of styles and building materials.


(Update)  Since I last took it’s photograph, the building has lost its little curvy stairs and there is a huge pile of bricks to the left of where the stairs used to be.  I wonder if they are going to re-do them or do a disabled access ramp? Who knows?

March 2017
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