Gateway to Old Town’s history is a positive sign for its future

Specially-designed iron gates installed at the entrance to the Old Town
Specially-designed iron gates installed at the entrance to the Old Town

Specially-commissioned ironwork gates designed to capture the rich history of Hemel Hempstead’s Old Town have been installed to ‘top off’ the landmark’s new look.

The gates, which are made of black wrought iron to blend in with materials already used in the renovated High Street, were made by Tring-based forgemasters Hammer and Tongs.

Each features a circular sketch of iconic Old Town sights – St Mary’s Church and the Old Town Hall – and they stand at 3m high and 2.5m wide.

Dacorum Borough Council leader and cabinet member for regeneration Andrew Williams said: “These stunning gates are a fitting addition to our beautiful Old Town High Street.

“Enhancing the improvements we’ve already made to this important area they celebrate the historic character of our Old Town in fine style and will make an impressive focal point for visitors to the unique High Street.”

The improvements are part of the council’s £30m regeneration project for the town centre, under wider Hemel Evolution plans.

Work to reinstate the paving slabs around the posts is to continue this week, ready for the gates to be used to close off the road to traffic during the Old Town Street Festival on July 19, and other similar events.

The festival itself starts at 1pm with an official opening ceremony from Dacorum mayor and mayoress Allan and Wendy Lawson, and a performance from the Rock Choir.

It will continue until 6pm with free entertainment, live music, stage performances, food demonstrations and street theatre including magiciansand balloon modelling, and will also tie in with the Old Town Hall’s Folk Festival taking place at the same time.

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