Baldock Has Some Impresseive Historical Details

Published: 13th June 2011
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The ceremonial county of Hertfordshire features numerous small towns that are drenched in Old England history and ancient properties, and people who have an intense passion for genuine history should definitely pay this county a long visit. Baldock is another one of the many towns located in the local government district of North Hertfordshire.

The town is crossed by the Rivel Ivel, and it is bordered by the county town of Hertford in the northwest, London in the north and Bedford in the southwest. Some of the towns that can be found in the near proximity of Baldock are Hitchin or Letchworth.

The Knights Templars were the founders of the town back in the 1440’s, and the origins of the name Baldock is believed to be a derivation from the Old French name for Baghdad, Baldac. The connection between the Knights Templar and Baghdad is given by their desire to conquer Baghdad as a result of their renowned Crusades. Of course there are other voices of historians that claim that the origins of the town’s name come from the words “Bald Oak”, which stand for “dead oak”.

No matter where the truth lies, the fact that the town has kept a large part of its ruins and fourteenth or sixteenth century buildings in the centre cannot be doubted. The town also offers the eyes a more modern approach in terms of architecture and building design, especially thanks to the construction of the A1(M) motorway in 1970. The motorways crossed the town two times, up until 2006 when due to the apparition of a new bypass, the old Icknield Way was removed from the town.

Nevertheless, this town hides some really impressive historical details. For instance, prehistoric remains on Clothall Common dating back as far as c3000 BCE have been found in Baldock, and the main major discoveries were made during construction work of the buildings there. Also, the core of the Roman settlement can be seen on the Walls Field near the Hartsfield Primary School in Baldock. Moreover, some remains dating back from the Iron Age have also been discovered there, and this leads to the strong belief that Baldock might be Britain’s earliest town.

Baldock is located near important villages such as Ashwell, Bygrave, Newnham or Wallington. The town features an impressively large number of pubs and hotels, due to the major exposure and the constant traffic from all surrounding areas, as well as its many access ways. Baldock has been a malting centre ever since the 16th century, but it has also known some changes as time passed by. It eventually became a regional brewing centre, and the 1881 census talked about 30 different drinking establishments here.

The number of pubs thus continued to grow throughout the 20th century, and there are also a lot of high interest buildings there, such as the Art Deco façade Tesco Supermarket, formerly known as a film processing factory (it might have been a silent film studio, according to some people), or the thirteenth century Baldock Parish Church of St. Mary.

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