Heritage: How the hamlet of Crouchfield grew into Boxmoor

Rosehill in Boxmoor in circa 1915
Rosehill in Boxmoor in circa 1915

Boxmoor village, once known as Crouchfield, grew apace when the London and Birmingham Railway arrived on the scene in 1837.

The original hamlet had clustered around Box Lane and taken its name from the Moors in the vicinity. Crouchfield was more in the area of the present day St John’s Road, sometimes called ‘Chimney Pot Lane’.

The railway attracted commuters to London, some of whom were wealthy enough to build splendid villas such as Boxmoor House and Chaulden House.

Other large houses soon appeared in the area and several of these were built in St John’s Road.

Rosehill was one of the houses erected in the late 19th - early 20th century, making the junction of Fishery Road with Green End Road and St John’s Road become known as ‘Doctors’ Corner’.

Dr MacDonald lived in what is now St Mary’s Convent, Dr Woodthorpe and Dr Young had surgeries on the corners and Dr Wolstencroft, a Harley Street Consultant, lived in Rosehill.

The lovely red brick house with windows which caught the setting sun was demolished in the late 20th century and a modern three-storey block of flats built known as ‘Rosehill Court’.

This postcard of the house is dated to about 1915.

Today, the only reminder of those days is the small surgery on the corner of Fishery Road, part of the Parkwood Drive practice.

Sunnyside, pictured c. 1910 by the photographer L.L.Christmas of St Albans, was also in St John’s Road, but little is known about this building or its previous inhabitants.

There is a more recent image of South Ridge, taken in 1950.

It looks an elegant middle-class home with an imposing front entrance, glass-roofed veranda and well-laid out gardens.

Again, more information about this house would be welcomed.

The postcards were all acquired very recently by Roy Wood, Hon. Sec. of the Hemel Hempstead Local History and Museum Society.

Roy has a large collection of local images and is the author, together with his wife Margaret, of Road and Street Names of Hemel Hempstead, available from Dacorum Heritage Trust.

+ If you have any helpful info contact the Dacorum Heritage Trust