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DOWN YOUR WAY


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Dissolution of the Monasteries. In 1548, Ralph Radcliffe purchased the estate and, for more than 400 years, it remained in the same family. The building we see today was erected by John Radcliffe during the 18th century, and remains from the flint monastery are still visible. Tilehouse Street provides one of the most delightful streetscapes in Hitchin; not least because of its variety of timber-framed buildings and brick houses which line the street. At the top end is a memorial garden to local historian Reginald Hine. The appropriately named ‘The End Cottage’ stands on the opposite side of the street from the garden. The brick- fronted house next door was once the home of George Chapman: poet, playwright and translator of Homer’s works. George was born in Hitchin in 1559 and died in 1634. Bridge Street has a row of timber- framed buildings with overhanging


12 County Life


upper storeys, and leads to the junction of Queen Street and Park Street. The Lord Lister Hotel stands in Park Street on the site where Joseph Lister, the man who transformed surgery through the introduction of antiseptics, once attended school. Queen Street is the home of the British School, now a museum of education, which has the world’s only remaining Lancastrian schoolroom. St Mary’s Square, between Queen


Images Top: Resplendant and colourful Bucklersbury.


Centre: Tilehouse Street.


Above: The former home of George Chapman, poet, playwright and translater.


Right: The George dates to c1450 and was, possibly, built as a merchant’s house.


Street and the river Hiz, provides a marvellous vista, which takes in St Mary’s church overlooking the river. On the south side of the square, and within a few yards of St Mary’s, the Biggin is a striking timber-framed building. Dating from the 17th century, it was built with Tuscan columns around the courtyard. St Mary’s church is a magnificent building and is a reminder of Hitchin’s medieval wealth. The oldest part of the present building is the tower, which


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All photos: copyright 2019 Peter Etteridge


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